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2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

Nov 3 (Reuters) - As the tumultuous U.S. election campaign draws to a close, Americans head to the polls to decide who will occupy the White House for the next four years - incumbent Republican President Donald Trump or his Democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden.

-Millions of Americans will cast ballots on Tuesday in an Election Day unlike any other, braving the threat of COVID-19 and the potential for violence and intimidation after one of the most polarizing presidential races in U.S. history.

-While both Trump and Biden scoured the battleground states for final votes on Monday, their campaigns prepared for post-election disputes and a possible court battle that could prolong the final result.

-For many Americans, this is the coronavirus election. The pandemic which has killed more than 230,000 people in the United States and destroyed millions of jobs has defined the final year of Trump’s presidency and became a rallying cry for Biden.

-A federal judge in Texas denied a bid by Republicans to throw out about 127,000 votes already cast in the U.S. presidential election at drive-through voting sites in Houston.

-Hundreds of legal battles over how to vote in the midst of a global pandemic coupled with record-breaking numbers of mail-in ballots and early voters have made the 2020 U.S. presidential election one of the hardest to predict. A look at what to expect on Tuesday and beyond.

-The U.S. presidential election will be decided by about a dozen states that could swing to either Trump or Biden. A look at the key battleground states that will decide who is the next U.S. president.

-A voter outreach push is underway to boost Latino turnout in the battleground state of Arizona where results hinge on Maricopa County - the fourth most-populous in the country with 4.5 million residents, 1.4 million of whom are Hispanic.

-A Biden administration may bring better gas mileage, cheaper drugs and less doom scrolling while another Trump term may bring fewer regulations, more trade wars and higher TV ratings.

-Democrats are favored to emerge from around a dozen hotly contested U.S. Senate races with full control of Congress in Tuesday’s election, but final results from at least five of those contests may not be available for days, and in some cases, months.

-California votes on the future of the gig economy deciding whether to back a ballot proposal by Uber and its allies that would cement app-based food delivery and ride-hail drivers’ status as independent contractors, not employees.

-Social media companies Twitter and Facebook outlined plans for placing warning labels on posts from U.S. election candidates and campaigns that claim victory in advance of official results.

-U.S. television news networks are preparing for an election night like no other as they face heightened pressure to report results accurately, without unwarranted speculation and forgo speed. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE -Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says the U.S. election result will not impact Tehran’s policy towards Washington.

-Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen said implementing normalisation deals with countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia depends on a U.S. president who will continue to be tough on Iran.

INVESTOR VIEW -Wall Street investors are looking ahead to a Biden win and his potential cabinet picks to determine whether he will govern as a business-friendly moderate or promote progressive legislation and how either approach would impact U.S. stocks.

-The battered dollar’s long-term fortunes are unlikely to improve regardless of who wins Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election, investors and analysts say.

BY THE NUMBERS Biden eked out a narrow lead over Trump in the battleground state of Florida with 50% of likely voters planning to cast their ballots for the Democratic challenger and 46% supporting the incumbent, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL Expected events and Reuters coverage on Nov 3: -American voters go to the polls across the U.S. to elect their president and vice president as well as members of Congress

-Biden attends “Get Out the Vote” events in Pennsylvania and delivers remarks in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware on Election Night -Vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris campaigns in Michigan -Trump holds Election Night party at the White House

Refinitiv customers see more election coverage on the Election Apphere on Eikon or Workspace.

Media customers can find complete multimedia coverage on the Reuters Connect planning calendar here here.

Reporting by Gayle Issa; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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