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Live Reporting

Edited by Jessica Murphy

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for now

    Trump's rally today in Tampa

    Thanks for joining us as we head into the election homestretch. There are now only five days to go until officials start counting votes to determine the winner.

    Here's a summary of some of the day's key events:

    • Both Biden and Trump were in Florida today, a state with a whopping 29 electoral college points that both sides consider key to their victory strategy
    • They each delivered speeches typical to their campaigns, with Trump honing in on Biden's alleged lack of stamina and claims that he will shutdown the US economy due to the pandemic. Biden went after Trump with the usual attack lines, saying the president had divided America and botched the pandemic response
    • Over 80 million ballots have already been cast, leading to speculation that voter turnout may be much higher this year than in years past.
    • Hawaii became the first state to surpass its 2016 turnout after over 457,000 of the state's residents voted early
    • Trump was forced to postpone his evening North Carolina rally due to high winds from Hurricane Zeta. The event is now rescheduled for Monday, the day before the election
    • Biden will be speaking in Tampa this evening, the same city where Trump spoke this afternoon
    • Tomorrow will be Biden's busiest campaign day since he won his party's nomination. His drive-in rally schedule includes Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota
    • Trump's rally schedule for Friday includes Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota
    • Walmart says they have taken guns and ammo off display shelves, due concerns with civil unrest
  2. The battlegrounds: North Carolina

    Part of our closer look at key states today

    North Carolina was a Republican stronghold before Barack Obama won with a narrow majority in 2008. That blue blip in a history of voting red suggests that a Democratic victory is not off the cards completely.Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have shelled out millions in advertising to try to capture the state, where Biden is leading in the polls.North Carolina is the first state to begin early voting by post and record numbers of requests for postal votes have flooded in - more than half of them registered Democrats. If mail-in voting swings the final result, things are looking less rosy for Trump.

    North Carolina
  3. Hear from voters about what matters to them

    BBC Voter Panel

    Healthcare is one of the most important issues that drives voters to the polls. Today, we’re asking voters why.

    Born and raised by working-class Mexican immigrants in South Texas, Joe Iglesias votes for philosophy over personality. He says both parties have been hijacked by their extremes, but is voting for Donald Trump because he supports the mantra of limited government, including on healthcare.

    Why does this election matter to you?

    I am the son of an immigrant who was taught that anyone with half a brain and a decent work ethic could make it in this country (he was right). Simply put, Trump is the lesser of two evils. This country has a tremendous pool of talent yet the zenith of our political class are these two clowns. Statesmen and visionaries cannot get their message out in a constructive manner in a social media environment.

    How do your health issues influence your vote?

    Government involvement in healthcare via ACA (Obamacare) has raised the cost of health insurance in rural areas - something never highlighted. It’s also raised the bureaucratic costs. It eliminated many insurance options previously afforded to young folks. Insurance options were always available, but in too many cases, people opted for the nicer car or latest smart phone versus a decent healthcare plan.

    These are members of our US election voter panel. You'll hear more from them throughout the week.

    Join the conversation:

    Voter panel graphic
  4. How many Americans have voted early?

    Millions of ballots are coming in everyday, and the number of Americans that have already voted now stands at over 80 million.

    The figure represents around 58% of the total 2016 turnout, when 138 million ballots were cast overall.

    Only 47 million votes were cast before election day in 2016. Experts predict that a record number of Americans may vote in this year's election. On Thursday, Hawaii became the first state to surpass its 2016 turnout.

    Democrats have been among the first to vote early this year, according to experts, but Republicans have since begun closing the gap.

    Trump, who has claimed mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud - though research suggests electoral fraud is very rare - has encouraged his supporters to vote in person.

    Among those 80 million early voters are Trump and Biden, who both cast ballots in their home states in-person earlier this week.

    Read more:

    How will early voting impact the election?

  5. The battlegrounds: Arizona

    Today we are looking at crucial swing states

    Donald Trump scooped the traditionally Republican state in 2016, but his 4% lead was a lot smaller than those enjoyed by Republican candidates in previous elections. This time, pollsters are forecasting Mr Trump will lose to rival Joe Biden.

    The Grand Canyon state has a growing Latino population and an increasing number of rich city dwellers, who both tend to vote Democrat. The state has also been badly hit by coronavirus, so voters who think the president has handled the crisis badly may want change.But Trump's focus on building a wall along the state's southern border with Mexico, and a crackdown on visas for foreign workers, could still play well with voters.

    Arizona
  6. Trump says 'see ya later, North Carolina'

    As Hurricane Zeta moves up the US from the Gulf of Mexico, Trump has been forced to postpone his afternoon rally in North Carolina due to the weather.

    He'll instead be returning to the state on Monday, one day before the election.

    He will still be in North Carolina today to host an event with US soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg.

    View more on twitter
  7. What people in Arizona from both sides agree on: Unrest is inevitable

    Sophie Long

    BBC News

    Every Latino I interviewed in Arizona, whether they planned to vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden, or declined to say, agreed on one thing: The result would take time and there would be trouble.

    I asked Liz Salazar, a millennial Mexican-American born and bred in Phoenix who currently works for Unidos US how concerned she was about the aftermath of the election.

    “Me personally?” she said in a deceptively reassuring bright and breezy tone, “I’m really worried, because this is an open carry state.”

    For those of you not familiar with US law, when she said “open carry” she was referring to arms, not alcohol.

    People will be out on election night and if they want to roam around with a gun strapped to their belt or tucked in their handbag (or purse as they call it here), that’s absolutely fine.

    A sobering thought.

    Liz says she would normally go to a watch party, but this time she’ll be staying at home.

    Jorge Rivas who owns Sammy’s Mexican Grill near Tucson, where a cardboard cut-out of President Trump greets you at the door, says “Yes there will be trouble."

    Because when Trump wins, and he will win, people will loot and riot”. He’s expecting scenes similar to those we saw in cities across the United States this summer.

  8. Walmart pulls gun and ammo displays amidst social unrest concerns

    A Walmart gun case, pictured in 2000
    Image caption: A Walmart gun case, pictured in 2000

    Walmart, the largest employer in the US, has pulled gun and ammo displays from shelves due to social unrest concerns this week.

    The products will still be available, but will not be visible to shoppers.

    The move was made to prevent theft in case any stores are broken into, according to the Arkansas-based chain.

    Walmart says guns are only sold at about half of its 4,700 stores.

    "We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,” a Walmart spokesman told the Wall Street Journal.

    The measure was taken "out of an abundance of caution", he said.

    For the past two nights in Philadelphia, looting has accompanied protests against the police shooting of a black man who was reportedly experiencing a mental health crisis.

    A Walmart in the city's Port Richmond neighbourhood was ransacked.

    At least 11 people were shot near the scene. Reports say the store sold bullets, which were strewn about on the ground in the aftermath of the looting, but it is unclear if they were the bullets used in the attacks.

  9. Hear from voters about what matters to them

    BBC Voter Panel graphic

    Healthcare is one of the most important issues that drives voters to the polls. Today, we’re asking voters why.

    As a Type 1 diabetic since the age of 14, Laura Marston has had to ration insulin as the price has skyrocketed over the past two decades. She has twice sold all her possessions in order to be able to afford the insulin she needs. In this election, her prime concern is the protection of the Affordable Care Act.

    Why does this election matter to you?

    During the 24 years I’ve had diabetes, the insulin that keeps me alive has increased in price from $21/vial to $275/vial. Each vial costs $3-$6 to manufacture, and I need approximately 30 vials per year to survive. Because I have a lifelong “pre-existing condition,” I was unable to purchase health insurance at any cost prior to the Affordable Care Act. If the ACA is overturned by the current administration, I must pay $275/vial of insulin to survive. I can’t do that.

    How do your health issues influence your vote?

    My number one issue when voting is: which candidate will stand up for patients over corporate profits? Which candidate will fight for the immediate end of the exploitation of chronically-ill Americans? Which candidate is most likely to support federal price caps for insulin so that the seven million Americans who depend on insulin injections to survive have a fighting chance to keep living without going broke or suffering irreversible complications from inability to afford insulin? Also, the current administration has no plan for battling the coronavirus pandemic.

    Read more about US insulin costs here.

    These are members of our US election voter panel. You'll hear more from them throughout the week.

    Join the conversation:

    In five words, tell us what's at stake in this election.

    Voter panel graphic
  10. Catch up on the latest

    Kellyanne Conway was thought to be the anonymous Trump confessor
    Image caption: Kellyanne Conway was thought to be the anonymous Trump confessor

    We're now just five days out from election day, and the news is still flying thick and fast.

    Today both presidential candidates are duking it out over Florida, a battleground state with 29 electoral college votes that are crucial to either sides' victory strategy.

    Meanwhile, a former White House aide has admitted that he is the author known as "Anonymous", who had boasted of his "resistance" efforts to block Trump's policies from being enacted.

    The big reveal is that the official is probably not who you would have expected. It certainly seems to have taken Trump by surprise. He called the former Homeland Security aide "scum" in Tampa earlier today.

    Read more:

    The Countdown: Kellyanne Conway, 'Anonymous' and the speculation game

  11. Ivanka Trump declares anti-abortion stance

    Senior White House Advisor Ivanka Trump puts on a mask during the Pledge To America's Workers Presidential Award in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

    Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter who has been deployed by her father to woo suburban women to Trump's campaign, has declared herself opposed to abortion in an interview.

    “I am pro-life, and unapologetically so," she told website RealClearPolitics. She has previoulsy steered clear of the issue.

    To those unfamiliar with US politics - the term "pro-life" refers to those opposed to abortion, while "pro-choice" indicates those that support safe abortion access.

    In the interview, Trump added: “I respect all sides of a very personal and sensitive discussion, but I am also a mother of three children, and parenthood affected me in a profound way in terms of how I think about these things.”

  12. Predict the president

    We've been posting a lot today about battleground states.

    Here's your chance to see how - depending on how the US electorate votes in those swing states - they can make a big difference in the results.

    Can Joe Biden wrestle enough away to seize the presidency? Or will Donald Trump romp home to a second term?

    It's all about the race to 270 electoral votes - and this time you decide.

    Play our 'Predict the President' game here.

  13. Campaigns hone in messages in final days

    Trump and Biden have just been speaking in the past hour in Florida, a swing state that is crucial to Trump's re-election strategy.

    In the closing days of the campaign, they have each honed their message - Biden focuses on Trump's handling of Covid-19 and says he is dividing Americans, while Trump focuses on Biden's years in Washington and his alleged lack of stamina.

    "If I don't sound like a typical Washington politician, it is because I am not a Washington politician," Trump told the crowd in Tampa, continuing his 2016 election theme.

    Biden spoke of his campaign to "inspire a new wave of justice in America, including economic justice" and promised to be president to all Americans, not only his own supporters.

    Trump was speaking in Tampa and Biden was speaking in the Ft Lauderdale area.

    Later tonight Biden will host another drive-in rally in Tampa.

    Trump had planned for two rallies in North Carolina, but just postponed one of them due to wind. The rally in Fayetteville is rescheduled for Monday, the day before the election, but the event at Fort Bragg military base will go on as scheduled.

  14. Trump supporters in Tampa 'passing out in the heat'

    The current temperature in Tampa is 87F (31C) - hot enough for the Trump campaign to spray down rally-goers with hoses to keep them cool.

    Trump, spotting the arc of the water during his speech, wondered whether it was coming from "friend or foe".

    According to some correspondents at the scene, some Trump supporters have fainted or required medical attention due to the heat.

    Earlier this week, Trump supporters in Nebraska were stranded outside in below-freezing weather for several hours after shuttle buses hired by the campaign were overwhelmed by high numbers of attendees.

    View more on twitter
  15. Your Questions Answered: Do some states' votes not count?

    Ritu Prasad

    BBC News writer, Florida

    Your questions answered graphic

    We’ve been asking our readers for their most pressing questions about the US election. Now it’s our turn to respond.

    Teodoro, 45, from Okinawa, Japan, asks: Why do some states’ votes not count?

    It’s not that some states' votes don’t count outright - rather, in most states, it’s a given which party will win the electoral college votes, so the contest really comes down to the places where votes are more uncertain.

    All but two states (Maine and Nebraska) give the entirety of their electoral votes to whoever wins the majority of the popular vote, no matter the margin.

    So if we know, for example, that California is majority Democratic voters, and Mississippi majority Republican, we also know exactly where their electoral votes will go.

    As a result, each party candidate starts out with a number of electoral votes in the bank, as it were, since some states are essentially guaranteed to them. This is where swing or battleground states come into play. Neither party can win the 270 votes needed for the presidency with solely their “guaranteed” states.

    Candidates put the most effort into a handful of these key states where voters could go either way - and that’s why people say the votes in states like Florida, Pennsylvania or North Carolina “count more”.

    Winning these battleground states on top of the party mainstays is the only way to win the White House.

    Click here if you want to know more about this project or send in a question of your own.

  16. Biden attacks Trump's virus response

    Biden at a rally

    Biden began his remarks by thanking his audience for wearing masks and social distancing, then went after the president for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic - a central theme of his campaign message. He condemned Trump's comment that Americans must "learn to live with" the virus.

    "We're learning to die with it and Donald Trump has waved the white flag," he said.

    Biden added the president has refused to listen to the science, or enact common sense virus controls.

    Biden denied he would shut down the economy - an accusation levied against him by Trump - saying instead: "I will shut down the virus".

    "We can build back and we can build back better," he said.

    Biden began by thanking the crowd for socially distancing
    Image caption: Biden began by thanking the crowd for socially distancing
  17. Trump: 'I want to talk about Hunter, not the economy'

    Trump smooched his wife Melania on stage before the rally began
    Image caption: Trump smooched his wife Melania on stage before the rally began

    At his rally, Trump said he gets calls from allies telling him: "Sir, you shouldn't be speaking about Hunter... because nobody cares."

    The comment is a reference to allegations of influence peddling that he has leveled against Biden's son in the final days of his campaign.

    "I disagree. Maybe that's why I'm here and they're not," he continues, wondering aloud "how many times" he can tout his economic accomplishments.

    He also assailed former Homeland Security official Miles Taylor, who revealed himself yesterday to be the anonymous author who wrote of his efforts in the White House to block Trump's policy decisions.

    He says that for years he was sizing up US military and diplomatic officials he met, wondering if they were the writer known as "Anonymous".

    Read more:

    'Anonymous' Trump administration critic identifies himself

  18. Parkland victim parents make appearance at Biden rally

    The parents of Joaquin Oliver, who was shot and killed in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, just spoke at the Biden rally in Florida.

    They said that following the shooting, they met Biden, "and we started talking and he told us to find purpose in life", said Manuel Oliver.

    He said Biden's words sent an important message and helped lead him towards his advocacy for stricter gun control.

    Watch their story, and that of the father of another Parkland victim, below.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Our kids died in the Parkland school shooting, but we don't agree on guns'
  19. Dueling rallies in Florida

    Like at other Trump rallies, few supporters in Tampa have been seen wearing masks
    Image caption: Like at other Trump rallies, few supporters in Tampa have been seen wearing masks

    Trump and Biden are both speaking during the same hour at rival rallies in Florida.

    Biden is about to speak at a drive-in rally in Coconut Creek in the southern part of the state.

    Trump is holding an in-person rally in Tampa, where he is pledging that election day will see a "red wave" of Republicans being elected.

    Trump called the election a choice between "historic prosperity" and "punishing lockdowns".

    Biden, he says, is "the worst candidate in the history of presidential politics".

  20. Hear from voters about what matters to them

    BBC Voter Panel

    Healthcare is one of the most important issues that drives voters to the polls. Today, we’re asking voters why.

    Sam Wright is a millennial who works in the tech industry and supports conservative policies on healthcare and the economy. He does not like everything that Donald Trump stands for and represents, but says Joe Biden’s healthcare plans do not appeal to him at all.

    Why does this election matter to you?

    I value freedom of choice and freedom to protect myself and my family. I'm college educated and hold a 9-5 job. I support Trump because I agree with many of the policies Trump promotes and bolsters (whether or not he knows or intends).

    How do your health issues influence your vote?

    Healthcare is a big piece. Obama famously said: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor", which was clearly a bald-faced lie in retrospect. Since the enactment of the so-called "Affordable Care Act" the amount of money I have had to pay for healthcare has skyrocketed. Additionally a look at the Veterans Affairs (VA) is proof that American government fails at healthcare. Something about America and nationalised healthcare don't ever work together. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience vote for Biden, a man that stood by and let the American people think they were getting cheaper healthcare and that they could "keep their doctor".

    These are members of our US election voter panel. You'll hear more from them throughout the week.

    Join the conversation:

    Voter panel graphic