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After an arduous year and a half of campaigning and a divisive presidential race, Election Day has finally arrived.
This guide provides information you need to know about polling place locations, Elon University events and online resources for tracking results and making predictions.
Voting in Alamance County
North Carolina residents who have not already voted may do so at their designated precinct, which can be found here. New voters in Alamance County whose registration forms were not not fully verified will need to confirm their identity and residence. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. A comprehensive voter guide with a list of candidates is available here.
An Elon shuttle will run a continuous loop from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the Center for the Arts to these two polling places:
- Antioch Community Church (1600 Power Line Road)
- First Baptist Church of Elon (621 E. Haggard Ave.)
Election Night watch party
The Elon community will be able to watch election results at 7 p.m. in the Global Commons Great Hall. More information is available here.
Race for the White House
The presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump is stirring up significant national attention. While candidates down the ballot are elected by popular vote, the president is determined by the Electoral College.
Each state, and Washington, D.C., is given a number of electoral votes based on the state's population at the time of the most recent U.S. Census. California, the largest state in the country, gets 55 electoral votes. Washington, D.C. and seven states — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming — only get three votes. North Carolina has 15 electoral votes.
The first candidate to win 270 electoral votes becomes president. Below is an interactive map of the Electoral College breakdown by state:
Based on electoral math, Clinton is more likely than Trump to secure the presidency. Trump has fewer paths to victory. Assuming he does not win Democratic-leaning states such as Colorado and New Mexico, Trump has fewer pathways to victory.
The New York Times The Upshot offers an interactive flow chart for people to track candidates' different ways to win.
States with divided votes
If a presidential candidate captures a majority of votes within a state, he or she will earn all electoral votes. There are two exceptions to this rule: Nebraska and New Hampshire. Nebraska has two statewide electoral votes and awards one electoral vote to the winner of each of its three congressional districts. Maine has two statewide electoral votes and awards one electoral vote to the winner of each of its two congressional districts.
Who will win?
Pundit forecasts are available here.
Trump's narrow pathway to 270
There are few pathways for Trump to obtain the necessary 270 electoral votes. In the scenario below, Trump wins a Democratic-leaning New Hampshire, Maine's evenly split second congressional district and five key swing states — Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio.
Trump could also reach 270 electoral votes by potentially picking off a couple Democratic-leaning states, such as Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
Clinton's many ways to 270
Clinton has several opportunities to capture the required 270 electoral votes. If she can hold on to Democratic-leaning states and win one or to swing states, the race will likely be over. Clinton can also diminish Trump's chances by winning a historically Republican state such as Arizona.
As of Monday, Nov. 7, the Associated Press had Clinton over the edge even without Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah.
North Carolina up in the air
North Carolina saw an increasing in early voting numbers compared to 2012, but the major factor in play was the large spike in unaffiliated voters who flocked to the polls.
This demographic will likely decide the outcome of the race as North Carolina is deeply divided along partisan lines. Because the state carries 15 electoral votes, it a must-win for Trump. For Clinton, a win would significantly diminish Trump's prospects of winning.
Several polls show the two candidates in a statistical tie slightly favoring Clinton.
Down ballot races also tight
North Carolina finds itself in the unique position of having deadlocked gubernatorial and senatorial races as well. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has seen a rise in his poll numbers the last few weeks, but RealClearPolitics has him trailing by a couple percentage points to Democratic challenger Roy Cooper.
Republican Sen. Richard Burr is in a close race with Democratic challenger Deborah Ross. Polls released Monday by the New York Times and Quinnipiac University show the race is tied. Even so, FiveThirtyEight gives Burr a slight edge.
Future of the U.S. Senate
Democrats are going to make up ground in the U.S. Senate., but the extent to their gains is unknown.
The U.S. Senate currently consists of 44 Democrats, 54 Republicans and two Independents who lean toward the Democratic Party. Of the 34 positions on the ballot this year, 24 are now held by Republicans while 10 are held by Democrats.
There are six key states to watch: Nevada, New Hampshire, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Republicans currently hold five of those six seats, so they are at greatest risk of suffering losses.
The outcome of the New Hampshire race between Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Democratic challenger Maggie Hassan could likely decide which party controls the Senate. There hasn't been much public opinion polling on the race, and the polls published have shown inconsistent results. If Clinton can win New Hampshire and get her supporters to back Hassan, Hassan will likely be the winner.
- If no Louisiana senate candidate holds a majority, the top two candidate will have a runoff on Dec. 10. The race will likely go to a runoff with a Republican candidate eventually elected. David Duke, former imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, is among the candidates running. He is polling in the low single digits and it is unlikely he will be one of the top two candidates.
- Nearly half of the races in the North Carolina General Assembly are uncontested. Fifteen of the 50 state Senate seats are uncontested, while 57 of the 120 state House seats are uncontested.
- Democrats Warren Judge and Rep. Paul Luebke were running for positions in North Carolina's House of Representatives. Judge and Luebke recently died. If either are elected, votes will go to replacement candidates.
- If no candidate gets 270 electoral votes, the House of Representatives would decide the presidential contest, with each state delegation getting one vote. Each member of the Senate would get a vote to settle the vice presidential race.
- Independent candidate Evan McMullin is running for president and has a chance of winning Utah's six electoral votes.
- It's been more than 600 days since Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced his run for president. Needless to say, it's been a long, long election season.