Pictures show the final days of an election like no other

After a tumultuous year, a record number of Americans unite in voting.

Supporters wait for President Trump to arrive at a rally at Scranton airport in Pennsylvania on Nov. 2, a day before the election.
Photograph by Natalie Keyssar, National Geographic

As the 2020 presidential campaign draws to a close, millions of Americans have lined up, in the midst of a pandemic, at schools, churches, and community centers across the country to cast their vote in an election like no other. From last-ditch legal battles over mail-in ballots to voting machines going dead, this election has been a ride, to say the least. “Life depends on it,” said one early voter in Brooklyn, New York, who like a record 100 million others, cast her vote before Election Day even came around. As President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden crisscrossed the country in an effort to rally last-minute votes and people made their way to polling stations, we sent photographers to capture the final days of one of the most historic elections on record.

National Geographic sent eight photographers into the field to document the lead up to pivotal election decisions: Andrea Bruce in North Carolina, Christopher Gregory-Rivera in Florida, Greg Kahn and Jared Soares in Washington D.C., David Guttenfelder in Wisconsin, and Natalie Keyssar in Pennsylvania. Photographers Graham Dickie and Stephanie Mei-Ling covered large voter turn out in Texas and early voters in New York.

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