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Election Day: Somali-American Wins Minn. House Seat

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Election Day was buzzing around the country Tuesday morning. Millions of voters were showing up to polls early to cast their ballots as the two major presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump began the long wait to see who would be favored tonight. Here are the latest updates.

1:51 a.m.

Ilhan Omar, won a seat in the Minnesota house to become the nation’s first Somali-American legislator. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that the 34-year-old Muslim woman, who wears hijab faced only nominal Republican opposition in her district.

“It’s the beginning of something new,” Omar said. “This district has a legacy of making history. I am excited for our progressive values and to be able to be on the ground at the Capitol representing the diverse people of my district and being a champion with them and for them.”

12:00 a.m.

California attorney general Kamala Harris has become that states first African-American senator and the second Black woman ever elected to the senate. She defeated Lorretta Sanchez, in a contest between two Democrats in California’s “top-two” primary system. It represents a split between Black and Latino votes.

Harris will replace outgoing senator Barbara Boxer who is retiring after serving in the U.S. Senate for four terms.

9:30 p.m.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, the South’s first Black senator since Reconstruction, has won his first full term.

Scott defeated Democrat Thomas Dixon, a community activist and pastor.

The Senate’s only black Republican, Scott said he would vote for Donald Trump, even as he has characterized some of Trump’s statements and actions as “disgusting,” ”indefensible” and “racially toxic.”

Scott, one of only two black senators, said on the Senate floor this summer that he has repeatedly been pulled over by law enforcement and was once even stopped by a Capitol Police officer who apparently did not believe he was a senator.

Scott, 51, was appointed to the seat in 2013 following the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint, then won election to the final two years of that term.

9 p.m.

Several states in the presidential election remain too close to call. The expectation was that the race would be more clear by this time, but major battleground states including North Carolina, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida, each rich with electoral votes are toss-ups, according to NBCNews.com.

Florida, considered a must-win for Trump could still lean his way. More than 90 percent of the vote there is counted and Clinton does not have a clear win in a state that carries 29 electoral votes. If Clinton does not win Florida, she could still win the 270 needed to clinch the election, but she would be dependent on states like Pennsylvania and Virginia.

 

5:45 p.m.

Voting day became violent at one Michigan polling place on Tuesday. Two women, one who apparently supported Hillary Clinton and another who apparently supported Donald Trump began to argue after they voted in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. During the argument a man stepped in and pushed one woman to the ground, the Detroit News reported.

“At that point, other people started getting into the fray, there was back-and-forth yelling, it was a continued verbal argument,” Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson told the News. There were no injuries during the skirmish.

5 p.m.

Most voters going to the polls Tuesday have a pessimistic view of the U.S. economy.

According to preliminary results of an exit poll conducted by the Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research, about 6 in 10 describe the state of the economy as not so good or poor.

But that economic unhappiness isn’t as high as it was in 2012, when three-quarters called the economy not so good or poor.

Among voters today, 3 in 10 say their personal financial situation has gotten better in the last four years, while nearly as many say it’s gotten worse.

More than half of voters say the economy is the most important issue facing the country, over terrorism, foreign policy and immigration.

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4:50 p.m.

Authorities have beefed up Election Day security for Donald Trump by parking dump trucks filled with sand outside his Trump Tower building on Fifth Avenue.

Police said Tuesday that similar precautionary measures were being taken at other sites around midtown Manhattan where Trump and Hillary Clinton plan to spend election night.

Authorities say the heavy trucks could block an attempted car bombing. They say there are no confirmed terror threats.

The NYPD had previously said it will deploy more than 5,000 police officers to keep order on election night. The deployment also includes police helicopters, mobile radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs.

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4:40 p.m.

A state judge in Nevada has denied a request from the Donald Trump campaign to preserve ballots and voting materials related to what the campaign alleges were irregularities during early voting.

Clark County District Court Judge Gloria Sturman said Tuesday that making the names of poll workers part of the court record could expose them to “public attention, ridicule and harassment.”

She says the county registrar is already required to keep the records, and the Nevada Secretary of State is responsible for investigating the complaint.

Trump campaign attorney Brian Hardy told the judge he wants to preserve records from the final day of early voting at four locations in the Las Vegas area.

The campaign says allowing people to vote past closing time was illegal, but the county says they were accommodating people already in line.

The Trump campaign lodged a separate complaint with the secretary of state.

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4 p.m.

A software glitch that indicated scores of voters showing up at the polls had already cast ballots has led to voting delays in one of North Carolina’s most heavily Democratic counties.

North Carolina Board of Elections lawyer Josh Lawson says officials in Durham County quickly concluded that there was a problem with their electronic poll books and began relying on paper rolls to confirm voter registrations. Attempts to vote twice are rare.

Lawson says there’s no indication “nefarious activity” caused the computer problems. Rather, he said it could have been a failure to clear out caches of votes cast during the primaries.

About two dozen other counties using the same software have not reported problems.

Lawson said those in line when the polls close will still be allowed to vote.

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3 p.m.

President Barack Obama is hitting the radio airwaves to encourage Americans to go to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The White House said Obama gave Election Day interviews to six radio stations that target listeners in Orlando, Detroit and Philadelphia. The cities are in states where the race is believed to be close between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Obama told syndicated host Jana Sutter that continuing the work of the past eight years depends on having a “steady, smart, serious” president follow him into office.

He praised Clinton and reiterated his view that Trump is unfit to be president.

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2:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is rekindling his unsubstantiated concerns about a rigged election system.

Asked Tuesday afternoon on Fox News if he would accept the election results, Trump continued to demur.

The Republican presidential nominee said: “We’re going to see how things play out.”

He said. “I want to see everything honest.”

Concerns about voter intimidation and fraud led to a flurry of lawsuits in the run-up to Election Day. New voter regulations in more than a dozen states also held the potential to sow confusion at polling places.

But at least in the early going, most of the problems at polling places appeared to be routine — the kinds of snags that come every four years, including long lines, machines not working properly, and issues with ballots or voter rolls.

1:38 p.m.

Voters in Mississippi had trouble earlier today when electronic machines went down. People waiting to cast ballots at a recreational center in Ridgeland, Miss., were forced to use paper ballots instead as election officials tried to fix the machines, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. Machines were working at 8:30 a.m., but several voters found that their names were not on the rolls and wound up voting through affidavit ballots.

Poll workers told voters, many of whom stood in line in the rain, that they would have to check back with the county clerk in two weeks to ensure that their ballots had been counted.

1:25 p.m.

Eric Trump may have broken New York state law by tweeting a photo of his completed ballot.

The second son of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted a photo of a ballot with the oval over his father’s name filled in on Tuesday.

The tweet said “It is an incredible honor to vote for my father! He will do such a great job for the U.S.A!” It was later deleted from Trump’s Twitter account.

An 1890 New York law bans voters from showing marked election ballots to others. A federal judge ruled last week that the law applies to social media posts.

Representatives for Eric Trump and the New York City Board of Elections did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

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1:20 p.m.

It was a quick trip to the voting booth for Donald Trump’s running mate on Tuesday.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence was joined by his wife, Karen, as they voted in Indianapolis. The couple encountered no lines and spent about five minutes filling out their ballots.

Pence told a small crowd afterward that he was grateful for the “support and prayers of people all across the United States” and he pledged a more prosperous America with the Trump-Pence ticket.

Pence and his wife voted in a precinct that has leaned liberal in past elections.

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1:15 p.m.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg says a victory for Hillary Clinton on Election Day would be “inspirational” to young women. But she joked that this wouldn’t lead to a “global girlfriends’ network.”

At a Berlin press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday, Solberg said a female U.S. president would show women that politics isn’t “something that belongs to men.”

Merkel echoed Solberg’s comments about creating more of a global balance between men and women in power. She declined to comment on whom she’d like to win the election, pointing out that the “trans-Atlantic partnership is certainly a prerequisite for us, especially cooperation in NATO.”

Republican Donald Trump has said that he may revisit the longstanding NATO alliance if elected.

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12 p.m.

Billionaire Warren Buffett is devoting part of Election Day to get-out-the-vote efforts — as he helps drive voters to the polls on a trolley he hired.

The longtime Democrat had promised to help boost turnout at a Hillary Clinton rally in Omaha in August. Buffett says some people have it tougher than others — maybe an illness or trouble with their car. He says he wants to do his part so everyone gets a chance to vote.

More than 1,000 people have volunteered to help Buffett drive voters to the polls.

Buffett is a supporter of Clinton’s, but on Tuesday he declined to talk about that. Instead, he said he just wanted to encourage everyone to vote regardless of party affiliation.

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11:40 a.m.

President Barack Obama says on Twitter that “progress is on the ballot” Tuesday.

He’s urging his more than 11 million Twitter followers to “go vote.” He also says they should make sure that their friends, family and everyone they know votes, too.

Obama has campaigned aggressively to help elect Democrat Hillary Clinton.

He used the “progress is on the ballot” line at many of the get-out-the-vote rallies he headlined for his former secretary of state.

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11:35 a.m.

Election officials say voting machine problems in southern Utah are forcing poll workers to use paper ballots, potentially affecting tens of thousands of people.

Utah Director of Elections Mark Thomas says a programming problem has affected all voting in Washington County, but so far appears it appears limited to that county.

He says about 52,000 registered voters there have yet to cast their ballots.

Election workers are trying to fix the computer problem and hope they can start using the voting machines later in the day.

Thomas says officials were prepared with backup paper ballots. But he said they will need to print more if the problem persists.

There are about 80,000 total registered voters in Washington County. Some 28,000 have already cast their ballots through early voting.

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11:25 a.m.

Donald Trump has voted in New York City.

Hundreds of onlookers watched as Trump, his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared arrived Tuesday morning at their polling place at a public school on Manhattan’s East Side.

Trump said: “it’s a great honor, a tremendous honor” to be casting his ballot.

He said he’s feeling confident about the outcome, citing “tremendous enthusiasm.”

As for his longstanding concerns about voter fraud, he says. “We’re always concerned about that.”

His final message to voters: “Make America great again. That’s all it is. That’s what it’s all about.”

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11:05 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is getting some quirky questions in Election Day radio interviews.

Clinton phoned WKZL in North Carolina and was asked whether she prefers Pepsi or Coke? Coke, said Clinton.

Toilet paper — over the top or under the bottom of the roll? “Usually over, but I can live with under,” quipped Clinton.

And, sleeping arrangements. Clinton told WXKS in Boston that she won’t switch which side of the bed she sleeps on if elected president. The White House will have to put the storied presidential phone on her side, not on the side that her former president husband sleeps on.

She said: “I have my side, and it works very well for us.” As for Bill, she said, “I think he’ll be happy to let me answer it.”

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10:55 a.m.

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange says he wasn’t trying to influence the U.S. presidential election when his organization published hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

In a statement Tuesday, Assange denied he was trying to support Green Party candidate Jill Stein or take revenge for the jailing of former U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking secret U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks.

Assange suggests WikiLeaks would publish material on Clinton’s Republican rival Donald Trump, if it received appropriate material and judged it newsworthy.

Assange said Wikileaks has not yet received information on the campaigns of Trump, Stein or other candidates “that fulfills our stated editorial criteria.”

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10:29 a.m. The Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn was one of several polling places in New York experiencing problems. WPIX-TV reported that ballots had been misplaced in the area, forcing voters to stand in line for hours waiting to enter polling places. Although voting was scheduled to begin at 6 a.m., many waiting in line could not wait any longer and were forced to leave for work.

 

9:55 a.m.

As voters cast their ballots for president, some are convinced, while others are holding their breath.

In Indianapolis, 50-year old homemaker Ranita Wires said she voted for Hillary Clinton because she trusts her, but said “this has been the worst,” and she’s “so glad it’s over.”

Craig Bernheimer voted for Donald Trump at his local polling station in Tulsa, Oklahoma early Tuesday, saying it has more to do with “what the other didn’t bring.”

New Mexico truck driver Richard Grasmick said he admired Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and intended to vote for him, but grew disillusioned by Johnson’s televised flubs on foreign affairs issues.

He said, “I wanted to go with Gary but he failed me.” Grasmick voted for Donald Trump instead.

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9:20 a.m.

Lines were long in some places, but few voters heading to the polls early Tuesday appeared to be encountering problems.

Presidential elections usually include sporadic voting problems, such as machines not working properly. Calls to Election Protection, a national voter helpline, included people reporting long lines as a result of machine problems in three precincts in Virginia. And election officials at a handful of precincts in Durham County, North Carolina, were using paper roll books after technical issues with computer check-in.

Ahead of the election, there was anxiety over whether voters would face problems. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the election was rigged and Democrats warned that Republicans were planning to intimidate voters. There were also concerns about hackers disrupting election systems.

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9:20 a.m.

Lines were long in some places, but few voters heading to the polls early Tuesday appeared to be encountering problems.

Presidential elections usually include sporadic voting problems, such as machines not working properly. Calls to Election Protection, a national voter helpline, included people reporting long lines as a result of machine problems in three precincts in Virginia. And election officials at a handful of precincts in Durham County, North Carolina, were using paper roll books after technical issues with computer check-in.

Ahead of the election, there was anxiety over whether voters would face problems. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the election was rigged and Democrats warned that Republicans were planning to intimidate voters. There were also concerns about hackers disrupting election systems.

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8:45 a.m.

Donald Trump’s eldest son says that his family will “respect the outcome” of a “fair election.”

Donald Trump, Jr. told CNN’s New Day Tuesday that he thinks his father “will remain involved somewhat” if he loses the election. He said he hopes that the energy surrounding his father’s campaign “goes back to the people we are trying to fight for, the people who haven’t had a voice in a long time.”

He said, in retrospect, that “hopefully we shed some light on the process,” and enabled people to speak their minds freely, “without being put in some basket, without being boxed in a corner.”

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8:40 a.m.

Women across the United States are wearing pantsuits Tuesday in a show of support for Hillary Clinton.

Many were inspired by a Facebook group called Pantsuit Nation that has more than 2 million members. Some are also wearing white in honor of the suffragists who wore white when they fought for women’s voting rights in the early 1900s.

In Alexandria, Virginia, Heather O’Beirne Kelly says she’s wearing a white pantsuit, inspired by the Facebook group and organized efforts to get women to wear white to vote.

New Yorker Denise Shull tried to buy a white pantsuit on Amazon, but they were sold out. She’s wearing a black-and-white suit to support Clinton, but also to symbolize “women making progress.”

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8:35 a.m.

Hillary and Bill Clinton are voting in their hometown of Chappaqua New York.

The Clintons greeted supporters waiting outside the polling place after casting their ballots Tuesday morning.

Hillary Clinton said it was “the most humbling feeling” to vote “because so many people are counting on the outcome of this election.”

Bill Clinton said he’s eager to be a political spouse, joking that he had “15 years of practice.”

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8:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama is keeping up an Election Day tradition: a game of pick-up basketball with friends.

Obama arrived at the gymnasium at the Army’s Fort McNair in the District of Columbia around 8 a.m. He wore dark, casual clothes and a baseball cap, and carried a pair of high-top athletic shoes. The White House didn’t say who the president would be playing with.

On the day of his re-election in 2012, Obama’s basketball teammates included former Chicago Bulls player Scottie Pippen.

Obama started the Election Day tradition during the 2008 presidential campaign.

The president has been campaigning aggressively to help elect fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, including headlining get-out-the-vote rallies for her in three states on Monday.

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8:15 a.m.

Tim Kaine is not letting the biggest election of his life get in the way of his Tuesday routine.

After voting at 6 a.m. and doing a round of national morning TV shows, Kaine met a group of friends for breakfast at the City Diner in Richmond.

Kaine and his friends try to meet every Tuesday at the diner, a few miles from his home.

The U.S. senator and former Virginia governor was greeted with cheers as he walked into the restaurant

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8:10 a.m.

Donald Trump says the presidential campaign has been an “amazing process” that put him in touch with the unfulfilled aspirations of the American people.

Interviewed by phone Tuesday on “Fox and Friends,” the Republican presidential nominee said he’s seen “so many hopes and dreams that didn’t happen, that could have been helped with proper leadership.”

Trump says he “took a little heat” for bringing up “illegal immigration” from the day he launched his campaign, but “in the end it was the right thing to do.”

Trump said his campaign is a “movement” and the American people are “incredible.”

Asked if he had any regrets, Trump said “sure, there’s things I would have done different.” He didn’t name any.

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7:30 a.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he and Hillary Clinton can clinch the White House if they win any one of the “checkmate” states.

In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday, Kaine said the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio each hold the key to a win for the Democratic running mates.

He said that Tuesday’s election is a “history-making race” but he also warned against complacency, saying that “democracy always works better when people participate.”

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6:15 a.m.

Tim Kaine has cast his ballot for president in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee and his wife, Anne Holton, voted shortly after polls opened at 6 a.m. at a retirement community near their home.

Kaine was cheered by supporters waiting in line.

After voting, he spoke to reporters where he encouraged Americans to vote and said that if elected, he and running mate Hillary Clinton would try and bring the country together.

“The sign of a vigorous democracy is one where a lot of people participate,” Kaine said.


Check back for frequent updates throughout Election Day.

 Image: AP / Mic Smith