With the first results of the bitterly contested US polls trickling in today, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were running neck and neck after notching victories in their respective Democratic and Republican bastions in the country. With the key battleground state of Florida still in play, the Democratic nominee is leading Trump by 68 electoral college votes to 66, CNN reported.
WATCH VIDEO: US Presidential Elections: Fun Facts
Clinton was projected to win in Vermont with three electoral college votes, Illinois which has 20, Massachusetts with 11, Rhode Island (4), New Jersey (14), Maryland (10), Delaware (3) and Washington DC (3). Trump, on the other hand, was projected to win in Indiana which has 11 electoral college votes, Kentucky (eight), Tennessee (11), Mississippi (6), Oklahoma (7) South Carolina (nine) and Alabama (nine). To win the presidential election, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral college votes.
Initial reports indicate that Trump has a more diificult path to victory than Clinton. In terms of overall vote percentage, Trump has so far received 51.4 per cent of the votes counted so far as against 44.4 per cent gained by Clinton.
In Florida, which has 29 electoral college votes, Trump has taken a lead of about 77,000. Trump was ahead in Virginia when reports last came in, but results were still too close to call. Virginia, which 13 electoral college votes, has a significant Indian-American population and is home to Democratic vice-presidential nominee, Senator Tim Kaine.
News networks said elections in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas, besides the battleground states of Ohio and Florida, were too early to call. Sporadic complaints of equipment failures and long lines also greeted voters across the country Tuesday as they headed to their polling centers to cast their vote.
However, much of the country experienced a relatively smooth Election Day Vermont, where Hillary won, is the home state of Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost to Hillary in the Democratic presidential primary. Indiana, where Trump was victorious, is the home of Mike Pence, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, who is its governor. Both Clinton and Trump are among the oldest general election candidates in US history. If Trump wins the election, it will make him the oldest president in US history — Ronald Reagan was just about 70 years old when he was elected to office in 1981. If Clinton wins, it will make her, at 69, the second oldest behind Reagan.
Voters select presidential electors, who in turn, will vote for the new president and vice president on November 8 through the Electoral College. Electors are apportioned to each of the 50 states as well as to the District of Columbia (also known as Washington, DC). The number of electors in each state is equal to the number of members of Congress to which the state is entitled, while the 23rd Amendment grants the District of Columbia the same number of electors as the least populous state, currently three.
Therefore, in total, there are currently 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 senators, plus the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. It may be noted that electoral members are not members of US Congress.
Unlike India, in the US campaigning can be done even as voting continues. Every state would start counting the votes as polling concludes.