BENDIGO'S American citizens say it's frightening to watch the 2020 presidential election, as they witness tension play out across the nation.
A Bendigo political expert says poll results appear to favour Joe Biden, but anything could happen.
Kentucky-born Bendigo resident LeeAnne Clarke said it didn't matter who won, the outcome wouldn't be great.
Read more: How the US electoral system works
"I've never really seen the division like it is this year, people are becoming disowned for any opinion they have," she said.
"My mum personally ... she's a bit worried, because it does feel like a civil war is on the precipice of happening.
"It's not just news, people are treating people differently than she's ever experienced."
California raised Julie Lovell said she was just glad to live in Australia, watching the tension in her home country.
A Bendigo resident of 21 years, Mrs Lovell said it was a frightening election, with people boarding up their houses and the military on high-alert.
Mrs Lovell said her sister wasn't telling anyone who she voted for because their reaction was so unpredictable, where normally Americans would talk very freely about their politics.
"People are frightened, people are overreacting. It's not necessarily just the president people are [reacting about], there's so much tension in America," she said.
"It's not even tension over Joe Biden and Donald Trump, it's tension over everything.
"Who wants to live in that kind of fear? What a terrible place to be."
Read more: Early US voting surges to record $90 million
Mrs Lovell said she asked herself how Donald Trump and Joe Biden could be the only two people America could have to represent itself.
La Trobe University Bendigo Honorary Associate in Politics Ian Tulloch said a Biden victory would put pressure on Australia to up its game in terms of climate change.
He said a Trump victory would be a setback for Australia, and the entire world, in terms of phasing out greenhouse gases.
Mr Tulloch said Mr Biden appeared to be ahead in the polls, but American politics was unpredictable.
Voter turnout appeared to be at record levels, which usually favoured the Democrat party, he said.
Mr Tulloch said the COVID-19 crisis and the American economy - gone "haywire" during the pandemic - were the key factors in the election.
"Trump's attempt to play down that more than 220,000 people died in the country is just crazy. His approach to the thing from a health perspective has been absolutely shocking," Mr Tullock said.
"It's put a major dint in the economic recovery. It's going to be a prolonged fallout from that.
"Just from a health perspective, I'm amazed that Trump's as close as he is, given what's happened there."
Raised in Kentucky, Mrs Clarke travelled after she turned 18, living in several states, including Illinois, Texas and California.
She moved to Australia about seven years ago after meeting her now-husband on a working-holiday.
Mrs Clarke said she hadn't voted, because after seven years she felt she had been gone too long.
Mrs Clarke said many Australians assumed Trump supporters were crazy, but in a southern state like Kentucky they were all you saw. She herself supported neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden.
"I see people of all walks of life that are for Trump and I see people from all walks of life that are for Biden," she said.
"You just want the riots to stop and people to start uniting together and people just starting to see each other as fellow Americans.
"It doesn't make sense why there's so much hatred and so much division. I don't even care who goes for everything, let's not martyr ourselves in the process."
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