Emphasis on mail-in votes and the Senate’s potential selection could lead to Americans waiting for a few days on who will lead the White House or Congress this November.
Some states are still not ready and confident to efficiently process a surge of mail-in ballots, keeping the experts very worried.
Advocates already said that the mail-in vote is technically possible, but it would require a tremendous amount of time, money, and political willpower.
Large states like Michigan and Pennsylvania have no experience dealing with mail-in votes. They have furtherly gotten constrained by rules stating mail-in ballots cannot start to be counted until the election day.
In the 2016 election, President Donald Trump won over these two states by a thin margin. But, in this upcoming election in November, experts assume that it could take days to determine the result of the election as the state official would verify and count each signature and tally up the mailed-in ballots before the final number for the winning candidate is identified.
According to experts, the result of the 2020 election in November would not be decided on the night of the vote; instead, it will be determined on election week or weeks.
Marc Elias, an election lawyer with prominent Democratic clients, stated to NBC News that there is no chance of knowing the total result of Michigan vote on election night. Both Michigan and Pennsylvania do have the history of counting a large number of absentee ballots. Michigan’s law always prohibits the count of absentee ballots until the polls are closed.
People should definitely expect delays in knowing the final result, according to Elias.
The timing uncertainty of determining the final result of the election comes amid the on-going highly sensitive situation of hyper-partisanship and growing unrest in the whole nation, as the current coronavirus pandemic has already dumped the load of a recession on the economy.
Simultaneously, overwhelming protest against the killing of George Floyd in police custody has also made international headlines. Some worry that the delay in knowing the result in this highly volatile situation could add further problems.
The restrictions of vote counting won’t be a big problem, especially when the absentee votes are the small portion of the total number. The new projection could only cause the potential that mail-in ballots would occupy more than half of the ballot cast. It is expected that the total number of mail-in votes would be some millions because of the current pandemic situation.
If Michigan and Pennsylvania won’t start counting votes until the election day or after the polls close, it will be a long waiting time, according to Matthew Weil, the director of the Elections Project at the Bipartisan Policy Centre, a political guru based in Washington.
Elias stated that Michigan and Pennsylvania would make a wise decision by changing or editing their rules to enable the system of timely processing of the votes. There is no viable reason for not counting starting before the election day.
The last time Americans had to wait for a long time was the 2000 election.
The Supreme Court determined the final result of that election after one month of the election day. Apart from waiting to know the presidential race’s final results, the Americans may have to wait for another two months to know who will run the senate.