The US population is approximately 330 million people. In 2016, there were 130 million ballots cast for the presidential election. We are expected to blow that number out of the water this year. According to the BBC, Americans have already cast 90 million votes with three days until Election Day. Another 60 million votes are expected to be cast on Election Day setting voter turnout for 2020 to be larger than any previous election. That is amazing! It also comes with challenges.
I have read multiple articles this week about expected voter turnout as mail-in ballots and early voting smashes record after record due to the COVID pandemic. Nearly all agree that we are likely to see more than 150 million ballots cast in 2020 with one estimating voter turnout could be as high as 90% for 2020.
Yet, most states do not allow the processing of ballots from absentee/mail-in/early voting before Election Day. The majority of those 90 million ballots are sitting in county election offices around the country waiting to be counted as a result.
Then there is Election Day itself. Those long lines we saw in 2016 will be just as long this year. Mail-in and early “in-person” voting shattered previous records, but so did new voter registration. And one thing we forget is that even “in-person” voting doesn’t mean your vote is immediately tallied. As a matter of fact, if you vote using a paper ballot at your local polling location your vote isn’t counted until after the poll location closes and the ballots are taken to the county election offices. Only then is your ballot added to all the other ballots collected and counted.
All of this means; that at the end of Election Day (November 3, 2020) we may not know which candidate is getting a state’s electoral votes. This is especially true in states that do not have a solid voting history… Let me explain that: Missouri nearly always votes Republican. And there are far more registered Republicans than Democrats in Missouri. This means all major polls are predicting Missouri’s 10 electoral votes to go to President Trump in the 2020 election. But in swing states a “winner” is far less clear. The big ones could still go either way.
I say this based on my own observations, I have noticed in my own neighborhood that several houses with Republican candidate placards in their front yards do not have a Trump/Pence 2020 sign and instead have “Republicans for Biden” signs. If this is happening in Missouri, I can’t imagine the turmoil in states that are not devotedly Republican like Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Understandably, I don’t expect an announcement of the next US President to come before November 6th. Now, it is still Election Day in the US and every major news outlet will still have a predictions count up and be broadcasting who they expect to win, but the verified absolute truth will be slower in coming.