In the US presidential election, usually, if a single candidate has a clear lead, the results are announced within a day. But this time the announcement of the results may be delayed.
In the United States, most votes are counted by machine. However, where there is a malfunction in a machine, the polling staff counts the ballot papers themselves. After polling, the results are sent to the local or regional headquarters of the election authorities.
The state of Georgia will be the first to decide the outcome of the polls after the polls close. North Carolina could follow. Then there are Ohio, Florida, Texas and Arizona.
The state of Ohio’s result in the US presidential election has been significant, and it has been generally seen that the candidate who wins in Ohio wins the entire field.
But this time around, under extraordinary circumstances, there are fears that it could take time for results from several key states, including Ohio.
Record Numbers Of Postal Ballots
The main reason for this is that due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, a large number of citizens in this election have already cast their votes by post instead of going to the polling stations.
Compared to the last time, this time the number of voters has doubled by post or in person before the election.
Forty-seven million American voters cast their ballots before the election in 2016. This time the number of such voters had reached the limit of about one hundred million.
Democratic voters are thought to prefer the postal ballot, while Republican voters are more likely to go out to vote on election day.
Maybe that’s why President Trump has been criticizing the postal ballot system in the United States. According to him, there are many irregularities in this system which lead to electoral fraud.
President Trump has threatened to refuse to accept the results if an attempt is made to defeat him through fraud.
If the election becomes disputed, the matter could go to the US Supreme Court. This is not the first time this has happened in the United States. In the 2000 election, a dispute over a few hundred Florida votes between Democratic candidate El Gore and Republican George W. Bush reached the Supreme Court, and after a month-long hiatus, the court ruled in favour of George W. Bush.
US officials say there is a strong possibility that preliminary results will not reflect the real situation this time around and that it could take several days for the situation to clear up.
Reasons For Possible Delay In Results
It takes time to verify the votes sent by post. The more votes received by postal ballot, the more time it will take.
In US states such as Florida and Ohio, these votes are allowed to be counted long before the election. Therefore, there is no possibility of delay in the results.
But in some other states, postal ballot counting is not allowed until polling day. These include key states such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the outcome of which could determine overall victory or defeat.
Similarly, in some US states, postal ballots are counted after the election, provided they are sent before November 3. In the event of a thorny contest, the importance of those votes increases, which may take time to count.