Why does the vote count take so long?

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This Tuesday, November 3, US citizens voted to elect the new president of the country, but this Friday still the results are not known. Why do the votes take so long to count? It depends, to a large extent, on each state’s postal vote counting system, a vote that has registered record numbers in these elections due to the coronavirus pandemic. [Sigue los resultados de las elecciones en EEUU en directo.]

The result in six states, some of them key in the election due to the unexpectedness of its result – Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia – will be crucial to tip the balance in favor of Donald Trump o Joe Biden. In these states the count continues this Friday, three days after the 3-N-it will take time to know.

Because each state has its own rules for how votes are counted and reported, some will report the results before others. These disparate rules can also make initial results misleading – margins in some states may shift toward Democrats as mail-in ballots are counted because they are the audience most likely to vote early. One of the specificities of Alaska is, for example, that they will continue to count votes until next November 10, one week after the end of the voting.

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