Due tothe coronavirus pandemic, a historical record of voters have cast their vote in advance or have sent their ballot by mail for the presidential elections in the United States . On the eve of the big event, more than 97 million Americans had already voted, which represents 70% of the global vote in 2016.
This puts one of the most consolidated democracies in the world in an unprecedented scenario. Knowing the winner of the contest this Tuesday night will depend on several factors and experts do not rule out that the United States will go to bed without knowing who will be its next president, although Democrat Joe Biden arrives as a favorite in the polls.
Each state has its own rules of the game when it comes to counting. Some allow early voting to be processed before D-day; others, only as of that date, and there are several that accept ballots even weeks after election day.
The focus is on the nine States considered key in these elections territories where polls show a tight result or in which history does not always give victory to the candidate of the same party Florida Pennsylvania Michigan North Carolina Ohio Wisconsin Iowa Arizona and Minnesotta Another three may surprise and several bookmakers have included them as contested in the final stretch: Texas, Nevada and Georgia.
The eyes of the whole world will be there. Within this package of States, each one has its own counting system and there are different time zones, so some will report the results before others. Some are already processing early votes, which will be announced as soon as the polls close, and others will only be able to start counting them after the polls close on Tuesday.
The margins can change throughout the night or the following days and legal litigation that requires a second count is not ruled out. To win the elections, one of the two candidates has to reach 270 votes out of 538 electoral votes, distributed proportionally according to the population of each State. The majority that arises from popular suffrage gives all the electoral votes at stake to the candidate elected in the territory
The US media has already warned that they plan to be more cautious this year when projecting the winners because the first results may not provide a complete picture of the situation. As mail-in votes are included, the map should favor Democrats.
In the territories that make public in which party the voter who has already exercised his right is registered, the data shows that the supporters of Joe Biden score 15 points from the Republicans (45% against 30%). Now, the States that have already processed and counted the vote by mail and then add those cast in person may experience a favorable change for Donald Trump, since according to the polls, his followers will vote in the majority this Tuesday.
The best scenario for finding the winner as soon as possible is for Biden to achieve strong support in the key states that release their results first. For example, both Florida, where the candidates are practically tied, as well as Arizona and North Carolina will release the vast majority of results within a few hours.
If the Democrat has a clear victory in these territories that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, it is a sign of his possible triumph. In the event that Trump achieves a significant majority in those states, the night will not yet be written, but there would be reasons enough to worry the Democrat. If the race is too tight for a winner, the final results in those territories will likely be known days later.
Minnesota and Ohio also plan to release the results late Tuesday night. Wisconsin is expected to report Wednesday morning and Michigan and Pennsylvania at the end of the week, all of them key states in Trump’s 2016 victory. Georgia and Texas, two conservative fiefdoms that have become competitive territories in recent weeks , should count the majority of the ballots during election day, but can be extended until the next day or Thursday.
These are the scenarios, as long as everything goes according to plan; There may be factors that alter the day, from technological failures to a hurricane that extends voting hours in some territory. Election officials plan to begin publishing initial results around 8:00 p.m. Washington (2:00 a.m. PST), though only from states that closed the polls earlier.
The full official count is usually known at the end of November and sometimes extends into December. Ballots sent by mail can slow down the system as they have to go through several stadiums before counting, including review by election officials to ensure their validity. In some states, they don’t start processing until Election Day. Despite Trump’s smear campaign for months on vote-by-mail, there is no evidence that it leads to fraud.