20:22 GMT20 October 2020
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    The in-person early voting kicked off in four US states on Friday, with Minnesota - a critical "battleground" state - also registering a high turnout, prior to the visits of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

    A large number of Virginians have lined up for in-person early voting across the state, ahead of the 3 November presidential election.

    Pictures and videos shared on social media show long lines of Virginia voters, mostly wearing masks and complying with social distancing rules.

    Some have suggested that people are voting in-person despite the pandemic because they do not trust mail-in ballots. Democrats have been promoting mail-in ballot voting as a safe means to avoid going out, while it has been criticised by President Trump, who said that such a system could lead to fraud in the election.

    As the election is looming, Trump addressed Americans in Virginia on Twitter, slamming Democratic Governor Ralph Northam for his "liberal agenda", including tough gun laws and support of abortion, and pledging instead to protect their rights under the Second Amendment.

    ​"I'm playing for your guns, and I’m playing for your values. For all the Federal Employees in Virginia, remember, it was me that got you the Federal Pay Raises, not Sleepy Joe Biden. I'll be having a Big Rally in Virginia, to be announced soon!", the president wrote.

    In total, more than 35 other states will arrange in-person voting ranging from roughly five to 30 days ahead of 3 November.

    United States, Democrats, election, Donald Trump, pandemic
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