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Patience: US elections go a long way


It is very likely not let’s get to know to the winner of the presidential election this Tuesday night. And if so, it is not necessarily a sign that something is failed, fraudulent, corrupt or bad.

The President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested that a Outcome more slow of what normal is an indication of problems.

I think it is terrible that we cannot know the results of an election on election night, ”said the president on Sunday.

I think it’s a terrible thing when states are allowed to tabulate ballots for a long time after elections are over. “

It is not clear what the president thinks is a long term. But it is standard practice to continue counting votes after Election Day.

Here’s a closer look at why that count might take longer than usual and why that might mean the winner might not be known on Tuesday:


The single biggest factor that may slow things down this year is clear: Millions of Americans chose to vote by mail rather than risk contracting the coronavirus at a polling place.

In general, postal votes take longer to count.

Poll workers must remove ballots from their envelopes, check for errors, sort and flatten them – all before they can go through scanners the moment the polls close and are tabulated. In states with well-established vote-by-mail programs, this processing occurs weeks before Election Day.

Results are often published quickly.

But several states did not have this system in place before this year, and existing laws prohibited election officials from processing ballots long before Election Day. Without a head start, there is virtually no way to process and count all votes by mail on Election Day, while also counting all votes cast in person.

There are three major battlegrounds with restrictions on when vote-by-mail can be processed: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

In those states, legislatures, where Republicans are in the majority, have resisted pleas from election officials to update the laws to allow for a faster count.

Instead, they will initially report the votes in person, which is expected to largely favor Trump, gradually updating with the more Democratic-leaning mail ballots later.


Yes, there has never been a presidential race in history where all the votes are counted on election night. It is simply not physically possible to immediately count that many ballots, possibly up to 150 million on the night of November 3.

Media organizations, including The Associated Press, declare winners in thousands of races on Election Night based on preliminary results, voter polls and other political data.

But in a tight race, more votes may need to be counted before the PA can declare a winner.


Of course. Not all states are slow counting. So if several key states publish their results promptly, a candidate may have the most electoral votes, even without knowing who won in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, or Michigan.

That becomes more likely if the races in those states are not closed.

It is a scene that points the floodlights towards Florida. The state allows its elections offices to process ballots by mail 22 days before the election, and unless otherwise arises, there could be a near-full count by midnight. And if Trump loses Florida, it will be very difficult for him to reach the 270 electoral votes he needs to defeat former Vice President Joe Biden and stay in the White House.

Two other southern battlefields, North Carolina and Georgia, can also begin processing mail-in ballots earlier. Both are considered critical states for Trump. However, unlike Florida, neither state has a history of handling a large number of mail-in ballots, so it is unclear how quickly those votes will count.

Iowa and Ohio also allow early processing of ballots by mail. Trump easily won both states in 2016, but Democrats believe Biden is competitive there. The results in those two states on election night could provide clues about what’s to come in critical states in the center of the country that take longer to count.


Tracking the results in this year’s elections can be a bit confusing. That is because both parties are voting in two very different ways. Democrats have flocked to vote by mail, while Trump has urged Republicans to vote on Election Day.

Depending on the type of vote that is reported – votes by mail, votes cast in person at early voting centers on votes cast on Election Day – the results could skew in favor of one candidate.

Generally, such advance processing states – Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and North Carolina – will report vote-by-mail results first. Those will tend to the Democratic side.

But then those states will begin counting the votes in person, which would lean toward the Republicans. So the preliminary results could be sharply Democratic before turning more Republican as the night goes on.

But the trend could be the opposite in swinging states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In them, the election day vote will be reported first, with a strong Republican leaning, which could be misleading – a “red mirage.” That’s because Democrats could rally once mailed votes are tabulated in the hours and days after – which is called the “blue shift.”

Patience, United States.