Tomorrow, Tuesday November 8th, America goes to polls. Whereas the 2016 campaign has reached dispiriting levels, voter registration has soared to new height as 200 million people are registered to vote. This is a sign and reward of an aggressive voter registration by the two major parties-Democratic Party (DP) and the Grand Old Party (GOP).
Whereas the increased voter registration is a step in the right direction, the national voter turnout has not always been impressive. For example, in 2012, the overall turnout was only at 58%. There are expectations that this year’s election may see a record voter turnout. In fact, if early voting patterns hold on election day, then voter turn out could be as high as 70%
We can only speculate who will win! After months of campaigning, the voice of the voters will be heard, loudly so, when polls begin to close at 7.pm (EST). If you are in Kenya, this translates to 3 A.m, Wednesday morning. The Election in America is determined by the Electoral College vote and not the popular vote. The number of Electoral College votes vary from state to state. The way it works is that the winner of the popular vote in each state is allocated all the electoral votes for that state, save for Maine and Nebraska where the votes are allocated based on popular vote result in every district.
There are specific states where Democrats and Republicans are guaranteed to win. For example, Kentucky is set to vote Republican and California is set to go for Democrats. The color of the GOP is red and DP is blue, hence the usual reference to Blue or Red state(s). However, there are states where the result will go either way, called swing states or battleground states. This is where the election will be won or lost. This is how the battleground states close polls tomorrow:
- Virginia: 00 P.m. EST (4P.m. PST, 3 A.m. Kenyan time)
If Clinton win Virginia, it will be the beginning of a good night for her. She will have blocked one of Trump’s path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. A Trump win here would be a shocker, and it would herald an interesting night.
- Ohio and North Carolina: 7.30 P.m. EST (4.30 P.m. PST, 3.30 A.m. Kenyan time)
Trump has to win Ohio and North Carolina if he hopes to remain relevant as the night progresses and more results are revealed. A clean sweep here for Trump will definitely make the Clinton camp anxious. On the flip side, if Clinton wins either Ohio or North Carolina, it will be a good night for her.
- New Hampshire and Florida: 8 P.m. EST (5 Pm PST, 4 .30 A.m. Kenyan time)
Polls indicate a close race in the two states. In Florida, early voting shows a spike in Latino voters who are likely to choose Clinton over Trump by a significant margin. Focus in Florida should be Miami-Dade County where Democrats run the table. In 2012, Obama won this county with a margin of more than 200, 000 votes. If Trumps keeps the margin in the County closer, there will be reason for Clinton Camp to freak out. If Clinton loses New Hampshire, this will be a significant blow, though she can make it up by winning Nevada. However, a loss for her in the Granite state would be a sign that Trump could win Pennsylvania.
All told, by 8 P.m Eastern time, we should know America’s choice to be the next president.
Keep it to this blog tomorrow for a special coverage of the election with updates on exit polling and other breaking news about the election.