A few days after the polls closed, the American result is still not out. What takes so long


U.S. election 2020: states also have different deadlines for receiving mail-in ballots

Three days after the polls closed, the United States and the world still do not have the final results of the presidential election, although Democrat Joe Biden was on the verge of toppling Donald Trump.

The wait has fueled tensions across the polarized country, with Trump alleging without evidence that Democrats are designing the fraud.

But the delay was widely expected, often for reasons specific to individual states, which, under the American system, each conduct their own polls:

Competitive states take longer
California, the most populous state in the country, was quickly called to Biden after the polls closed on Tuesday. But those calls are actually projections from news outlets rather than official results, meaning it takes longer to get an accurate picture in tightly divided states.

“The closer the races, the longer it takes,” Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania Secretary of Vital State, told reporters.

States also have varying deadlines for receiving postal ballots, especially those from the military or other citizens living abroad.

North Carolina has delayed counting at least 171,000 ballots – which could make a difference – because, by law, it accepts votes that arrive by mail until Nov. 12, provided they have been canceled by polling day.

Likewise, Nevada, which also has a tight race, will count the ballots that are canceled by Election Day as long as they arrive on November 10.

Provisional ballots, which are issued to voters in case of confusion about their registration and must be verified, also cause delays.

Deluge of postal ballots
Due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, states accustomed to a limited number of absent votes have been inundated with ballots sent out by citizens who do not want to risk voting in person.


Some 65.2 million of the 160 million Americans who voted this year did so by mail, according to an estimate from the US Elections Project.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican-led legislature rejected an effort to let authorities count before polling day, contributing to the scenario in which its largest city, Philadelphia, a Democratic stronghold, announced its return last.

Some places have unique factors delaying the counting of votes, such as Chatham County, Georgia, where an electoral division and registrar separately examine the ballots.

Legal challenges
The Trump campaign took advantage of the delay to demand an end to counting in states where it is late, including Pennsylvania, where the Republican Party has approached the US Supreme Court.

Republicans had fought for months to prevent Pennsylvania from counting postmarked ballots on election day if they arrive before Friday.

In Wisconsin, where Biden scored a narrow victory in the results announced Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court ruled that only votes received on election day would count.

Most states allow rival parties to observe the count, but challenges over the rules have taken time, with Trump supporters particularly challenging the Philadelphia rule that observers stay at least 4.5 meters away due to the risks of Covid.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)


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