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Election 2020: When will we know?


Workers board up the windows of a Walgreens on Friday in Washington in anticipation of Election Day unrest. Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

Election 2020: When will we know?

Because of the pandemic, many Americans turned to mail-in, absentee, and early voting for Tuesday’s election. How that could affect the final result varies by state. Election officials in several states will have already counted millions of early votes by Tuesday night. Results could come in earlier than usual in the swing states of Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio. Other states, including the pivotal Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, will accept ballots and count them for days after the election, likely delaying their final tally.

When will we know the winner? If either President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden wins in a landslide, the answer should quickly become clear on Tuesday night. But if the race is close, as polls from several battleground states indicate, the final decision could take days or even weeks. In many major U.S. cities, including Washington, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, shop owners have boarded up windows to protect against possible violence and unrest after the election.

Dig deeper: Review the National Convention of State Legislatures’ list of state ballot counting policies.


Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a WORLD Digital news reporter. He is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate. Kyle resides in Purcellville, Va.

@kylezim25

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