After a lengthy campaign for the White House, marked by divisiveness and fear, polls officially closed coast to coast Tuesday evening with no clear winner.

Many key battleground states still haven’t been called, leaving the fate of U.S. President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden in flux. Results in states like Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania play a critical role in delivering the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, and they’re still too close to call.

Election officials are processing a historically large number of mail-in votes. The surge of mail ballots will mean some states will need more time than others. But, officials have stressed that accuracy is more important than speed.

Celebrities including Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington, Debra Messing, Mark Ruffalo and many more have been taking to social media to remind fans that election night is far from over and every vote counts:

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Poll results, as it happens

So far, both candidates have picked up predictable wins. As the first polls closed at 6 p.m. ET, Trump took Kentucky while Biden secured Vermont.

The second round of polls closed at 7 p.m. ET, with Trump taking West Virginia and South Carolina — both reliably conservative states. Biden, meanwhile, won the state of Virginia.

A slew of polls closed at 8 p.m. ET, with the wins largely unfolding as expected. Trump won Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Indiana. Biden won Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

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Since 9 p.m. ET, Trump has secured Louisiana, Nebraska and its 3rd Congressional District, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas and Missouri. Biden took New Mexico, New York, the District of Columbia and Colorado.

By 10 p.m. ET, Biden took California, Washington and Oregon, while Trump won Idaho and Utah — all expected wins for both candidates. So far, not a single state has flipped from the 2016 election. Polls in Alaska and Hawaii have not yet closed.

It puts Biden at 209 electoral votes and Trump at 118, according to a running tally by the Associated Press.

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Some Americans worry about a protracted ballot count in pivotal states, which could make the country wait days before a clear winner emerges.

For Biden, Pennsylvania is key to his White House hopes, but he does have multiple paths to nab the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president. It has yet to be called.

Trump, who has been slipping to Biden in the polls, told Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that he believes his rally crowds are the “ultimate poll” and reflect a high number of votes in his favour for re-election.

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Some hiccups at polling stations

Defying many expectations, there were few major hiccups on Election Day. Some voting lines snaked around blocks, but many polling stations ran smoothly. In some places, like Detroit and Atlanta, lines were relatively short, leaving poll workers guessing it is due to the unprecedented wave of early voting.

The latest tally of early voting in the U.S. shows that almost 102 million Americans cast their votes before Election Day. It represents 73 per cent of the total turnout for the 2016 presidential election, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

In battlegrounds like Florida, Iowa, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania, some voters showed up to polling stations long before dawn to beat crowds and still faced long lines.

Results in some states have hit a snag.

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North Carolina’s will be delayed by at least 45 minutes after the State Board of Elections opted to extend voting at four locations that were having technical issues Tuesday morning. Similarly, Hidalgo County in Texas announced on Twitter around 4 p.m. ET that 74 of its polling locations would remain open one hour later after a number of sites reported “laptop-check in issues.”

In 30 Las Vegas-area locations, polls will remain open for an extra hour after the Trump campaign cited reports of technical difficulties delaying those sites from opening on time. The request was heard and approved by a state court judge.

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Fears of violence

Fearing unrest over the outcome, some businesses in New York, Denver and Minneapolis have boarded up windows and doors.

Near the White House, crowds have grown at Black Lives Matter Plaza. Photos and videos on Twitter show many masked people holding signs as police increasingly impose road closures in the area.

There were some scuffles between anti-Trump and pro-Trump attendees, according to Global News’ Washington correspondent Reggie Cecchini, but they were resolved quickly.

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Just yesterday, a new anti-scale fence was erected around the White House. It’s the same type of fence that was put up during protests this summer over racial injustice and inequality.

The predictions of unrest on Election Day did not come out of thin air. In the run-up to Nov. 3, tensions flared in parts of the U.S. In what was seen as a stark example of what could be to come, last week Trump supporters drove pickup trucks down a Texas highway and surrounded a bus filled with Biden campaign staff. In North Carolina over the weekend, people pepper-sprayed a group of mostly Democrats marching to polling stations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups said they were watching closely for signs of voter intimidation, and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said it would deploy staff to 18 states.

Coronavirus at forefront

Both candidates have already cast their ballot. Whoever wins will be tasked with leading an anxious country grappling with a historic health crisis and the economic downturn it prompted.

The coronavirus pandemic — and Trump’s handling of it — has become the defining element of the 2020 campaign.

As Americans cast their ballots Tuesday, the total number of virus cases in the country sat above 9,344,000, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.

As cases and hospitalizations climbed in recent weeks, so have deaths. More than 232,000 people had died of the disease as of early Tuesday evening.

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In some ways, the campaign has been a referendum on Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As scientists sounded the alarm about a drastic spike in infections, Trump insisted the country is “rounding the turn” and recently suggested people are tired of hearing about it.

By contrast, Biden has positioned himself as a president-in-waiting in America’s hour of need. He has sought to keep the campaign focused on the federal response to the pandemic, recently launching a new digital campaign that argues Trump was “more worried about protecting his trade deal with China than he was about the virus that had already come to America.”

Trump has used some of the race’s final hours to accuse Biden of wanting to force the country back into a lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.

— With files from ET Canada, the Associated Press and Reuters