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- President Donald Trump falsely claimed victory over Democratic rival Joe Biden in the early hours of Wednesday (US time) at a time when millions of votes remained uncounted. The tight White House race will not be resolved until a handful of states complete counting over the next hours or even days.
- Polls have closed and voting has stopped across the country, but election laws in US states require all votes to be counted, and many states routinely take days to finish counting legal ballots.
- Donald Trump has won the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Texas, but Joe Biden remains in the race to win key Rust Belt states, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
- The tight contest reflects a deeply polarised nation struggling to respond to the worst health crisis in more than a century, which has combined with millions of job losses and a reckoning on racial injustice.
As America counts, the world holds its breath
Donald Trump's pre-emptive declaration of victory at the White House was condemned by some US political commentators and civil rights groups, who warned about the trampling of long-standing democratic norms.
Most world leaders and foreign ministers sat on their hands, trying not to add any fuel to the electoral fire.
Joe Biden, the cautious centrist, has failed to trump the unashamedly crowd-pleasing populist incumbent.Credit:Agencies
A late burst of votes from Milwaukee in Wisconsin has given Biden a small lead there, but it is still too early to call the race. Hundreds of thousands of votes also remain uncounted in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The two candidates split territory across the US after polls closed on Wednesday AEDT. With neither candidate securing the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, Biden urged patience and vowed that every vote would be counted.
Trump, in an extraordinary move from the White House, said the electoral process was fraudulent and called for outstanding ballots to be ignored.
As a new day dawns in the US, stay with us as we take you through what's bound to be a rocky ride.
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