Election day! Today’s the day! The sun is shining! The tank… isn’t quite clean yet. For most of today, all eyes will be on Donald Trump and Joe Biden, who are finally duking it out for the top spot of President of the United States of America.

As the election progresses, and each party wins more and more states, it will become clearer as to who will most likely take home the presidency. Florida and Pennsylvania, two battleground/swing states, have been labelled as the big states to watch, mostly because they hold the balance of the final outcome in their hands.

Not sure why everyone is saying “It’ll probably go down to Pennsylvania?” or “Keep an eye on Florida?” and what those statements even mean? Well, here is where we come in to help.

Image

First up Florida. At 12pm (AEST), this swing state will officially close and get to counting those votes at lightning speed.

Polls have predicted that there is a good chance Biden will take home Florida, but with the state being a swing state where anything can happen, we’ll have to wait to see what goes down.

Essentially, if you see Florida go to Biden, that’s the election over, and you can almost be certain that Biden will be president. However, if Florida ends up going to the Republicans and Trump, then the next state of contestation that you should watch is Pennsylvania, which is where things get a little trickier.

At the time of writing, the Republican party is leading in Florida, which means Pennsylvania here we come.

The battleground states that Joe Biden and Donald Trump are fighting for are Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania, however, is always split very evenly between the two parties, so nobody can ever predict who will win it.

Trump needs to win Florida to have a chance, while Biden does not. If Trump wins Florida, then at around 5pm, we will be waiting for Pennsylvania to count its votes. Unfortunately, the state is notoriously slow at counting, so we may not know the next president until very late in the night, or even days from now.

Not to mention the fact that if it gets to this point, Trump is preparing a legal battle in the Supreme Court to call postal votes fraud. This year in particular, there were record amounts of postal votes because of COVID-19, so that could spell trouble.

“We could end up seeing hundreds, thousands or even millions of ballot votes thrown out according to how those court cases go, which have a lot to do with ballots that arrive late or miss some step in the procedure,” said Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy at the University of Sydney, Dr David Smith.

At the time of writing, more than 100 million people have voted in early, which is tremendous voter turnout for America.

The only thing left now is to wait, and watch. My vodka is ready.

Image: Getty Images / Mark Makela