23:27 GMT30 October 2020
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    More than 35 US states will offer early in-person voting from 5 to 30 days prior to the 3 November election amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    Tens of thousands of people have already cast their ballots in Texas early voting, with the first day of the process seeing long wait times in some locations of the Lone Star State.

    Twitter users shared photos and videos of massive queues during early voting across Texas on 13 October, noting that they "have never seen anything like this" and that the queues in some areas are "unbelievable".

    The footage showed many voters maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings while waiting in line.

    Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, for her part, said that the first three hours of voting saw at least 6,000 people cast a ballot and by noon, the total number already stood at 14,000.

    She expressed hope that lines and wait times will shrink in the next few days, saying that the first day of voting tends to be the busiest.

    "This is pretty normal behaviour, and I think by day two or three you will find that the lines are less daunting. There is such high enthusiasm out there. Voters are in a good mood and are taking care of each other by wearing masks and social distancing. Everyone is just having a good time. So get out and vote", DeBeauvoir stressed.

    She added that a number of technicians had been deployed across the county to tackle possible voting machine malfunctions, which prompted long queues at the Dittmar Recreation Centre in South Austin.

    "Technical issues might happen at any point, and when they do happen it's about when and how quickly can we get it resolved", the Travis County clerk said.

    The developments in Texas come after hours-long waiting lines emerged across Georgia on Monday as voters gathered around polling stations to take part in the first day of early voting in the state.

    Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, US election officials have been urging Americans to cast their votes as early as possible, either through absentee voting or by going to the polls in person. More than 35 other states will offer in-person voting from roughly five to around 30 days ahead of the November 3 election.

    President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that mail-in voting being used by most states amid the pandemic is rife for large-scale fraud, and may make the US "a laughing stock all over the world".


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