When should voters expect to hear results from battleground states?
With millions of votes still being counted, we are waiting for results from some key states before a 2020 presidential winner can be declared.
It was expected for some states to take much longer to count their ballots than others for reasons such as historic levels of mail-in voting, a possible record turnout of voters, a pandemic and the threat of post-election lawsuits.
It has yet to be announced who will win the crucial electoral votes in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In three key states, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, election officials were not allowed to begin processing absentee ballots until on or just before Election Day.
Fulton County, Georgia, which includes Atlanta and is the state’s largest county, had counted all in-person votes and stopped counting mail-in ballots for the evening by 10:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.
“Officials plan to resume counting the absentee ballots Wednesday at 8 a.m.,” Fulton County spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said.
Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State, is confident they will be able to declare a winner within the state Wednesday afternoon.
In a tweet earlier Wednesday morning, Benson said, “hundreds of thousands of ballots in our largest jurisdictions are still being counted including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Warren & Sterling Heights.”
In Nevada, which Democrat Hillary Clinton won by a slight margin in 2016, the counting of mail-in votes in populous Clark County stopped overnight and was to resume at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to the county’s registrar of voters. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, is the home of 70% of all voters in Nevada and is heavily Democratic.
President Trump is fighting to keep North Carolina red after winning it in 2016, and the state is critical to his re-election chances. But polls have shown a tight race between him and Democrat nominee Joe Biden. North Carolina counts absentee ballots that arrive as late as Nov. 12, so they may be counting ballots for at least nine days after Election Day. The question is whether there will be enough late-arriving ballots to keep any races uncalled.
Some counties in Pennsylvania were not able to start tallying their votes until early Wednesday morning when there were still more than 1 million ballots left to be counted. Pennsylvania allows mail-in votes to be received and counted until Friday, Nov. 6. Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn a state court ruling allowing ballots to be counted if they were postmarked by Election Day but received up to three days later.
Wisconsin is not able to process absentee ballots until Election Day. Tony Evers, Governor of Wisconsin, has predicted that we will know the outcome of the election “hopefully that night and maybe at the latest the very next day.”
Incumbent President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden both addressed their supporters overnight as votes continued to come in.
“We want all voting to stop,” said President Trump. “We don’t want them to find ballots at 4:00 in the morning and add them to the list.”
Trump remains confident that he will reach the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.
“To me this is a very sad moment and we will win this,” Trump said last night.
The Electoral College meets Dec. 14 so states must certify their elections by then.
Congress meets in a joint session on Jan. 6, 2021 to accept the electoral votes and ratify the results of the election. The president is inaugurated on Jan. 20.