Mail-in ballots and the ongoing pandemic have called for a shift in gears toward receiving last night’s presidential election results. After a long year of campaigning and debating, millions of people around the country gathered to submit their votes. In arguably one of the most contentious elections in American history thus far, many have longed for this very moment. With an influx of people attesting to the importance of voting in this year’s election, the results are highly anticipated. Given that the conditions of today’s climate have extended the declaration of 2020’s newly elected president — an extension which may take several days or weeks.
This year, as COVID-19 has seized the country’s normality, the occurrence of voting has taken a different shape. While many still voted in-person, large volumes of people opted for absentee ballots or mail-in ballots. This practice of mail-in voting has been in place for hundreds of years. However, the pandemic has brought on an unruly circumstance that disrupts the flow of mail-in ballots and the election. An intricate system, mail-in ballots are much more extensive in their process of being counted. In contrast to in-person voting, mail-in ballots require twice the amount of effort. Considering the time of delivery and possible mailing delays, absentee ballots can quickly become a hassle in the current circumstances. Since the great majority of American residents voted by mail, calculating votes will take well over the amount of time it takes to present results.
To mitigate the overwhelming difficulty of absentee ballots, the Supreme Court has granted some states – Pennsylvania and North Carolina – the ability to accept ballots after the election. In Pennsylvania, ballots can be accepted for three days after the election. Ballots will be collected for up to six days after November 3 in North Carolina. Amid the process of ballot collections in both states, the announcement of the elected president will undoubtedly be postponed.
The question remains: how long will it be until a new president is announced? Looking at the timeline of unfolding events, it could be a minimum of a week after the polls were closed. An assumed winner can be projected based on Tuesday night’s available results. Considering that the country is accustomed to a live announcement the night of, this is a very different route of action. The only option for this year’s election is to patiently wait until results are unveiled. In the meantime, you can view the current results of the presidential election, here.