Do we know on election night who won?
Millions of Americans have voted, but every state has different rules about when to vote Counting these voices may be started. This will mean that some results are available at different times – possibly first Days or even Weeks after the actual election day.
In some places, the election workers can start evaluating the ballot papers weeks before November 3rd. That means they can review voter information and get the ballot papers out of the envelopes so they are ready to be counted on election day. In some of the hotly contested so-called swing states, however, the laws prohibit the early evaluation of the ballot papers. On November 3rd, officials there must both hold an election and work their way through an unprecedented number of postal ballot papers.
This is likely to delay the final results. In addition, the results of personal voting could be turned upside down by the counting of postal ballot papers.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned of the alleged vulnerability of postal votes to fraud without producing any evidence. Therefore, it is feared that he will use delays in the counting of votes to judge results as illegitimate. But if results come in later than usual this year, it’s because of the way people vote – not because of fraud.
Here’s another sticking point: nationwide delay in the Delivery of the post raise concerns that voting papers will not arrive in time to be counted. The Republicans, including Trump’s campaign team, have filed a lawsuit to prevent ballot papers arriving after election day from being counted.
As things stand, swing state Pennsylvania counts ballot papers that arrive in the mail three days after November 3rd. The decision was preceded by a lawsuit that made it to the highest US court last week. The Republicans have filed another lawsuit against it. Pennsylvania also bans preprocessing postal ballot papers, which complicates the process.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, another highly competitive US state, an appellate court has conceded a 14-day extension of the count – prompting election officials to ask voters to vote in person rather than by mail. Similar extensions in Wisconsin and Indiana have also been rejected by courts.