A mute button to avoid interruptions during the final US presidential debate

The final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden will feature a mute button to allow each candidate to speak uninterrupted, Reuters reported. Organisers said on Monday, that it can avoid the disruptions that marred the first matchup.

The Presidential Commission on Debates said each candidate's microphone at the debate in Nashville, Tennessee, would be silenced to allow the other to make two minutes of opening remarks at the beginning of each 15-minute segment of the debate. Both microphones will be turned on to allow a back-and-forth after that time.

The Trump campaign voiced objections to the change - made after the president repeatedly talked over both Biden and the moderator at last month's debate in violation of its agreed-upon rules - but said the Republican would still take part in the Thursday night event, one of his last chances to reach a large prime-time audience before voting ends on 3 November.

"President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last-minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate," campaign manager Bill Stepien said.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The number of Americans who voted early reached 30.2m on Monday, according to the University of Florida's United States Elections Project. That number represents more than one-fifth of all the votes cast in the 2016 election. Early voting is likely to ramp up this week as more states open up voting centers for those who want to avoid possible coronavirus exposure at crowded Election Day polling sites.

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