Experts: Outcome of Presidential race may not be known by Election Night

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 5:22 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - There is a chance you may not know who will win the Presidential race by Tuesday night. Experts say it’s no reason to panic. In fact, there’s a very good reason why you may have to wait to learn who the projected winner really is.

While a record number of voters took advantage of early voting and voting by mail, others will take advantage of traditional voting on Election Day.

"For work reasons, I wasn’t able to go out to vote early,” voter Jameicia Thomas said.

“I can just walk up the street to the school. It’s not very far,” another voter, Joe Hill said.

Polls will open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

Everyone’s eyes will be glued to the television Tuesday night to find out the projected winners in all of the races, especially the presidential race. But will we really know the winner Tuesday night?

“It might happen but it’s incredibly possible that it won’t happen,” University of Richmond Law Professor, Henry Chambers said. “There are a lot of ballots that need to be counted. There are states that are close and consequently unless you’re talking about a Joe Biden blowout, it’s entirely possible that we will be waiting a while.”

That’s because, in some states, mail-in ballots may still come in later this week although they were postmarked by Election Day and then there’s Pennsylvania for example, where state law says officials can not count ballots before Election Day.

“We may not be absolutely certain of who has won for a couple of days. Now if it’s a blowout, it’s possible we will have enough states and be clear enough about those states to believe that a winner can be projected,” Chambers said.

If the race for President gets messy, the Supreme Court could even get involved. Chambers says that’s only if the race is extremely close and there becomes an issue with mail-in ballots.

“I think they’re going to do what they got to do and do it right. I’m ok with waiting to see what happens,” Hill said.

Chambers says the same could apply for local races such as the mayor.

While there may be early projections, we really won’t know the true outcomes until every vote is counted.

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