Johannesburg – The counting of votes continues across six US states as the presidential race between incumbent President Donald Trump and Joe Biden narrows.
Biden, vice president under Barack Obama’s presidency, maintained a lead in the race since the vote counting on Wednesday.
Yet at this stage, the big question is whether Biden will secure the magical 270 US Electoral College votes. They are a prerequisite to ascending to the White House.
Biden is 17 votes away from that mark. Should he win Arizona and Nevada, he will become the 46th US president.
By Thursday, the Democrat candidate remained at 253 votes while Trump lagged at 213.
All eyes now remain on swing states – Arizona, Georgia and Nevada – where the two presidential candidates go neck and neck with various counties expected to continue with vote counting well into Friday.
Trump has the lead in Georgia, North Carolina, Alaska and Pennsylvania, which could see him bag another 54 electoral votes should he retain the lead to the final count. This would take Trump to 267 votes.
While Biden broke the record for the most popular votes in US history, he still has to win the crucial electoral votes to secure the presidency.
The crucial election has drawn some controversy after Trump accused the vote of being plagued by rigging.
Trump’s supporters camped outside one of the vote-counting centres where they reiterated his call for the counting to be stopped as they declared the elections flawed.
In what has been viewed as anxiety over a possible loss, Trump has also threatened to legally challenge the outcome.
Should he lose the election, Trump will be the first president to fail to secure a second term since George H.W. Bush, who served from 1989 to 1993 on the Republican ticket and suffered defeat from Democratic candidate Bill Clinton. – Additional reporting by Sihle Mlambo