What time do the polls close?
The times that voting opens and closes will vary from state to state. The earliest polls are set to open at 6am local time—which was roughly 10pm AEST on Tuesday, November 3—and the latest poll closes at 4pm AEST on Wednesday, November 4.
What will be the key states to watch?
All up, there are at least 15 swing states to keep an eye on during the current election, as the winners in these states will help decide who the president will be.
For those who are unsure, a swing state is a state where the Democrats and Republicans have similar levels of support among voters, and have historically swung between the two parties.
Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin's results will be crucial as these three states swung the last presidential election, with Trump having won them by less than 80,000 combined votes in 2016.
Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Iowa are others to watch as they are Republican-leaning states and have previously shown a slight shift towards the Democrats.
Florida's choice has always been critical since the swing state has the third-largest number of electoral votes, and has long been considered predictive for which way the result would swing.
Where can we watch the U.S. Election live from Australia?
There are a multitude of ways to watch the election results live. There will also be consistent TV coverage—both live-to-air and online—for most of the day. Below, we've listed everywhere you can keep up to date with the results as they arrive.
SBS News' website will follow the results as they tally online and on their app from Wednesday 11am AEDT until 6.20pm AEDT. You can check it out here.
SBS will also be offering a US Election 2020 special news event and streaming coverage from ABC World News America, with all the latest analysis and commentary direct from the United States.
ABC will air election coverage from 10am AEDT until 7pm AEDT and ABC News will then pick up an extra hour of coverage from 8pm to 9pm. You can catch it here.
ABC News will also have all-day live coverage on their radio show where they break down everything you need to know in a clear manner. You can check it out here.
7NEWS will deliver up-to-the-minute polling results and coverage starting on November 4 with an extended edition of Sunrise from 5:30am AEDT. You can check it out here.
SKY News' coverage will include Peter Stefanovic, Chris Kenny, Joe Hockey, Rita Panahi, James Morrow, Annelise Nielsen, The Daily Telegraph’s Miranda Devine and The Australian’s Cameron Stewart from 5:00am AEDT. You can check it out here.
How can we follow the U.S. Election online?
For those unable to or who would rather not watch the results right as they come in, there are a multitude of ways to check in when you're ready to hear any of the major results on social media. Below, we've listed the best social media accounts and hashtags to follow over the coming days.
Publications, Maps and Charts
- 270 To Win is one of the main sites for live updates on which Presidential candidate has gotten to 270 points to win. Along with their interactive map and forecasting results, they have a live tally on how many points each candidate needs to win. You can check it out here.
- BBC News' live coverage offers accurate and up-to-date election polls and results in interactive maps and charts to catalogue each states' final decision. You can check it out here.
- The Guardian will be covering the results live and breaking down information in the time it hits the news. You can check it out here.
- CNN's coverage offers interactive maps and a break down of the results from the Senate, House of Representatives, Exits Polls and State votes. You can check it out here.
- ABC News' in the U.S. offers an array of interactive maps to compare the results from the People's Pick, their rankings, the results from Trump and Clinton's race in 2016 and more. You can check it out here.
- Fivethirtyeight is not a major publication but their forecasting and mapping is like nothing else. You can check it out here.
- Twitter's 'Election Day' Event offers both a general overview and top commentary on every update that is coming through live. You can check it out here.
- Twitter's #AmericaDecides2020 hashtag features less news articles and reports on the results and more comments by the people of America and from around the world. You can check it out here.
- @soyouwanttotalkabout: This Instagram offers incredibly shareable graphics covering the events, covert forms of social injustice, and more.
- @thebusyvoter: This Instagram account provides fast facts and explanations on the critical issues this election cycle—plus shareable graphics.
- @thedailyaus: The Daily Aus is an Australian news source which will be covering the entire race through their feed and their Stories all day.
When will we know who has won the election?
When we will find out who has won the Presidency is tricky to predict.
During the 2016 election, the result was delivered just before 11pm ET (3pm AEDT). However, this election is very different. With the highest voter turnout the U.S. has seen in over a century, plus a huge amount of absentee ballots to count due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is a high chance that the results could take a while.
Depending on how it goes, the election may well be called on the night of November 4 or Thursday, November 5 (AEDT). But experts have said that if Trump and Biden are neck-and-neck in swing states, we may not know a winner for weeks.