The slow tempo of this 12 months’s US election depend is fueling lots of criticism, however it’s largely a mirrored image of laudable issues: better voter enthusiasm and steps that states took to guard their residents from coronavirus.
THE ENTHUSIASM FACTOR
Even although the depend is just not but full, President Donald Trump has simply surpassed the variety of votes he bought 4 years in the past: greater than 70 million to this point, versus about 63 million in his victorious 2016 run. Meanwhile, Democrat Joe Biden has gained some 73.9 million votes, versus the 65.9 that Hillary Clinton bought. FULL COVERAGE
All in all, some 15 million extra voters participated on this 12 months’s presidential election than within the one 4 years in the past. Congratulations, Americans.
US states corresponding to Minnesota, North Carolina and Nevada prolonged the deadlines for when ballots could possibly be obtained. Nebraska and Iowa joined the ranks of states that ship an absentee poll software to each registered voter. New Jersey and California mailed ballots to each registered voter, whether or not they requested it or not.
Millions of voters took states up on the supply and selected to vote by mail fairly than in particular person on election day. For some states, that has meant a slowdown within the tabulation of outcomes as a result of votes obtained by mail usually take longer to course of than ballots solid at polling locations.
THE EXPERIENCE FACTOR
Some states have carried out significantly better than others processing mail-in ballots. States corresponding to Florida and North Carolina discovered from expertise and allowed election officers to course of mail ballots within the weeks main as much as election day.
In Florida, clerks can begin counting ballots 22 days earlier than an election. In North Carolina, starting 5 weeks earlier than the election, county boards insert accepted ballots right into a voting machine, permitting for a immediate tabulation on Election Day.
But different states corresponding to Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all with Republican-led legislatures and all of them swing states, made a aware choice to attend so there can be no counting of mail-in ballots previous to Election Day. Michigan did finally enable election officers to course of some ballots in the future earlier, however the counting of the poll nonetheless needed to wait till November 3.
THE PREDICTABILITY FACTOR
As state lawmakers battled over course of mail-in ballots, there have been warnings of what was to come back. Here’s what Eugene DiGirolamo, a Republican county commissioner in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the state’s fourth-most populous county, instructed The Associated Press two weeks earlier than election day:
“My guess is if we’re only allowed to start on Election Day, it’s going to be three, four, five days after the election when we’ll have these things scanned and counted,” DiGirolamo said. “I am just scared to death that Pennsylvania is going to look really bad, especially if the election for president is close and they’re waiting for results from the battleground states like Pennsylvania truly is.”