WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Record turnout is expected this election day thanks to the current political environment and because the coronavirus pandemic means more people are eligible to vote by mail or vote early.
With just a week left, states around the country say this election day will be different.
“With over 5 million people voting, more than have ever before in our state,” said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Benson said many states are experiencing record turnout as the pandemic encourages many people to vote early or to vote by mail. But final election results could take days but officials say that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“In some states, even the early election results cannot be tallied until election day or election night,” said New Mexico’s Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
In some states, absentee and mail-in ballots can be counted before election day or in states like Virginia where early ballots can be pre-processed, which can speed things up. In other cases, in-person voting can make the outcome clear.
“The margin will be wide enough where any outstanding ballots won’t affect the outcome of the election,” said Toulouse Oliver.
But that won’t be the case everywhere.
“We’re trying to manage expectations now, to say when the system works, when people are counting ballots effectively and efficiently and carefully and accurately that takes time, it can’t be done instantly,” said Benson.
That’s why swing states may take days — or even weeks — to certify their election results without early processing.