Twenty years ago Americans woke up in the autumn morning after election day and did not know who would lead the country later. US Election 2020 polls: Who is ahead
It took another 36 days to resolve the rivalry between Al Gore and George W. Bush as the country breathed a sigh of relief.
That possibility could happen again in 2020.
Well, the epidemic is afraid to vote in person because in the US it often means waiting in queues for hours. So millions vote by post and there are fears that it could take days or weeks to count it all, leaving the result on the edge of the sword.
What usually happens on general election night?
Different states stop voting at different times. The first closed polls will be on the east coast, at 19:00 local time (00:00 GMT), and after that you will start getting the total number of votes counted in those states.
Presidents are not elected by winning the national vote. No, instead it is a series of races across the state, with the winner in each state taking a certain number of so-called electoral college votes. A state is “called” for a candidate when a media organization believes it has an insurmountable lead. This is not the end result.
Similarly, when a candidate is “called” for an entire election, it is not an official result because there are still too many votes to count. Elections are usually called night. Choreographed response including a discounted speech from the losing candidate. Maybe not this year – more later.
Elections were called for Donald Trump in 2016 at about 02:30 EST (07:30 GMT) after Wisconsin won, with the Electoral College surpassing the 270 vote limit.
In the days and weeks that followed, the majority of Democratic votes were counted, meaning that Hillary Clinton expanded her lead in the popular vote across the country, but the Electoral College had already lost.
Unprecedented volume of postal ballots Standing in a queue at a polling station on election day is the most common way American voters cast ballots, but in recent years, the popularity of voting by mail has increased.
Although it was not uncommon in the past for states to restrict voting to special circumstances such as a soldier serving abroad – now for the “absentee voter” or whatever, this method is widely allowed in most states. For a different reason.
In 2020, the Kovid-19 pandemic prompted unprecedented requests from voters to cast ballots through the posts. Nearly 80 million mail-in ballots are expected to be aired – doubling in 2016 compared to the other election year.
Then, the concern is whether the size of the ballot deliveries will delay everything. That fear is not just due to the large number of ballots being counted.
This is also due to the fact that the U.S. Postal Service is subject to cuts at a time of great responsibility. First it has to post the ballot papers to the people, and then send them back to the election officials, before the deadline set by all the states.
Postal ballot counting takes more time because each vote must have a unique autograph-signed signature on the registration card.Since the number of postal ballots doubles, that process only adds time to the count.
Some states, such as Florida, begin processing postal votes, such as verifying signatures before election day, and actually counting them on election morning.
But most states and Washington DC do not start counting them all until the end of individual voting and the end of polls. The National Conference of State Legislatures will have a complete list when each state counts postal votes.