Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail

(Trump) JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images; (Clinton) Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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Countdown to Election Day

Americans prepare to vote for the next president on November 8.

With only a few hours to go before Election Day, the race for the White House is expected to have a close finish.

National polls are showing a very tight race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Both candidates have been crisscrossing the country recently, trying to reach as many undecided voters as they can.

THE ISSUES

The past month has been difficult for both campaigns. In October, a videotape emerged of Trump making highly offensive remarks about women. And just last week, questions arose again about Clinton’s handling of top-secret emails while she was secretary of state. After reviewing a new batch of emails, the FBI cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing on Sunday, just two days before the election. While these events have gotten plenty of news coverage, many voters are coming to the candidates’ final campaign stops to hear what they have to say about the issues facing our country.

Clinton and Trump have taken very different positions on immigration, for example. Trump has stated that he wants to build a wall between Mexico and the United States to keep out illegal immigrants. He also wants to deport, or send home, the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already here. Clinton has criticized Trump’s plans to build a wall on the Mexican border. She wants to give “a path to citizenship” to undocumented immigrants who have not committed crimes.

The two candidates also have different visions for creating new jobs and for how best to keep Americans safe, both at home and around the world. Many undecided voters will make up their minds based on the candidates’ positions on these key issues.

THE FINAL STRETCH

Both candidates have spent the final week before Election Day in key swing states, or states in which the Democratic and Republican candidates both have a good chance of winning. Those states include Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. However, they will be just a few blocks away from each other in New York City on Tuesday night, as both candidates have planned election night parties in midtown Manhattan.

Third-party candidates Gary Johnson, a Libertarian, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein are also still in the running. However, both are expected to receive only a tiny percentage of the vote.

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An early ballot in North Andover, Massachusetts

CREDIT: AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File

Though many people will vote on November 8, more than 42 million Americans have already voted. Currently, 37 states and Washington, D.C., allow people to vote by mail and/or in person before Election Day. In addition, all states allow some form of absentee voting (voting that does not happen in person on Election Day). People who can’t make it to a voting site on Election Day, such as members of the military serving overseas or people who are too ill to travel, can mail in absentee ballots to make sure their votes are counted.

As the votes get tallied and the results come in, the entire nation will be watching to see who becomes the 45th president of the United States. You can come back to this website on Wednesday morning, November 9, for the results, and to see how your state voted.