Elections in the United States: Why the vote count could take longer than normal

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It is very likely that we do not know the winner of the presidential election on Tuesday night. And if so, it is not necessarily a sign that something is flawed, fraudulent, corrupt or bad.

It’s very probable that let’s not meet the winner of the presidential election on Tuesday night. And if so, it is not necessarily a sign that something is flawed, fraudulent, corrupt or bad.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested that a slower than normal result is a sign of trouble.

“I think it is terrible that we cannot know the results of an election on election night,” the president said Sunday. “I think that it’s something terrible 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 can slow things down this year is clear: millions of Americans decided to vote by mail rather than risk contracting the coronavirus at a polling place. And 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 the scanners the moment the polls close and are tabulated. In states with well-established vote-by-mail programs, This processing takes place 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, practically there is no way to process and count all votes by mail the day of the elections, and at the same time count all the 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 laws to allow for a faster count. Instead, they will initially report the votes in person, which is expected to greatly favor Trump, and gradually update with the more mail-in ballots. Democrat-leaning 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 as many as 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 close contest more votes may need to be counted before the AP can declare a winner.

Of course. Not all states are slow counting. So, if several key states publish their results promptly, a candidate can have a majority of the 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 searchlights 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 an almost full count to 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.

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