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Voters out in force as polls open in Florida

By Staff Reporter

Published 05/11/2016

Donald Trump addresses a rally in North Carolina
Donald Trump addresses a rally in North Carolina

The number of early voters in the US presidential election has already exceeded the total from 2012 in Florida, with four days still to go to election day.

With voting set to continue through the weekend, state election officials reported that nearly 5.3 million Floridians had voted by mail or at polling precincts.

In 2012, the total figure was nearly 4.8 million.

The voting between Republicans and Democrats is just about even, with Republicans having an edge of fewer than 2,000. Nearly a million voters registered with no party affiliation have also voted.

Polls indicate a tight race in the state between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump must win the state to have a chance of collecting the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, and both candidates have made repeated visits to the area.

Georgia has also broken an early voting record set eight years ago. Secretary of state Brian Kemp, the senior elections official, announced Georgians had cast more than 2,180,000 early ballots — over 50,000 more than were cast in 2008.

Mr Kemp said the number was continuing to climb yesterday, the last day of advance in-person voting. Mr Trump is favourite in Georgia, long a Republican stronghold.

The Republican has said a cloud of investigation would follow a victorious Ms Clinton into the White House, evoking the bitter impeachment battle of the 1990s in a closing campaign argument meant to bring wayward Republican voters home.

Meanwhile, Mrs Clinton and her allies, led by President Barack Obama, told voters to get serious about the dangers of Mr Trump.

As polls show Mr Trump closing in on Mrs Clinton in key battleground states, her campaign is rushing to shore up support in a number of long-standing Democratic strongholds.

Mrs Clinton’s shrunken lead has given Mr Trump a glimmer of hope, one he is trying to broaden into a breakthrough before time runs out, zeroing in on questions of Mrs Clinton’s trustworthiness and a new FBI review of an aide’s emails.

The attack is aimed at appealing to moderate Republicans and independents who have been the holdouts of his campaign, turned off by his behaviour but equally repelled by the possible return of the Clintons.

Mrs Clinton, meanwhile, sought to keep the spotlight on Mr Trump, claiming his temperament and his disparaging comments about women and minorities make him unfit for office.

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