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US Elections 2016: Voters head to the polls

American citizens begin voting for either Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton in election billed as historic

Published: Updated:

Polling stations opened Tuesday as the first ballots were cast in the long-awaited election pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump.

Voters in nine states got first crack at electing the new president, with the rest of the country due to get started later in the day.

The polls were open in Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Virginia.

Democratic presidential candidate Clinton led Republican Trump by six percentage points among likely US voters in a Monmouth University poll released on Monday.

The survey of 802 registered voters found 50 percent backed Clinton while 44 percent supported Trump, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, the university said in a statement. Its last poll released on Oct. 17 found Clinton up by 12 points, it said.

Several other national opinion polls released earlier on Monday showed Clinton with a three-point or four-point advantage. Among Arab voters, neither Trump or Clinton came out on top of a recent YouGov poll that saw 47 percent of polled Middle Eastern citizens across 18 countries “would snub both if given chance to vote”.

Clinton calls for ‘hopeful’ America

Hillary Clinton urged voters in the early hours of Tuesday to embrace her vision of a “hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America” as the Democrat wrapped up her historic campaign bid to be the country’s first woman president.

“Our core values are being tested in this election but my faith in our future has never been stronger,” Clinton told a mainly young crowd at a rally in Raleigh. “We don’t have to accept a dark and divisive America. Tomorrow you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America.”

Obamas join Clinton at Philadelphia rally

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Monday made an Election Eve show of political force at a massive rally in Philadelphia – with her president husband Bill, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle at her side. Clinton urged the roughly 40,000 people gathered near Independence Hall – where the Founding Fathers adopted both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution – to reject her “loose cannon” opponent Donald Trump.

“There is a clear choice in this election, a choice between division or unity,” Clinton, 69, told the rally. “Between an economy that works for everyone or only those at the top, between strong, steady leadership or a loose cannon who could put everything at risk. “Make no mistake, our core values are being tested in this election,” she said, delivering her campaign pledge to be a president for all Americans. “Tomorrow, we face the test of our time.”

Trump vows to put ‘America first’

Donald Trump wrapped up his final rally of the US presidential campaign Tuesday with a vow to reunite the country inside secure borders under the slogan “America first.” “Just imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one American flag,” he told supporters.

Other election stories:

Minute-by-minute: The last day of the 2016 campaign http://ara.tv/g686w
Mexicans on border fear catastrophe if Trump wins http://ara.tv/vx8b7
US Arab Sanders supporters: Some edge toward Clinton, others loath her http://ara.tv/2gcau
Russian media backs Trump, questions US democracy http://ara.tv/9938g
Minute-by-minute: The last day of the 2016 campaign http://ara.tv/g686w
What if we all got to choose the president of America? http://ara.tv/j7k9j

READ MORE: Al Arabiya’s rolling coverage of US Elections 2016