In previous elections, the first results were announced on election night, that is, hours after the polls closed.
For example, in the 2016 elections, Republican President Donald Trump announced victory at 2:30 a.m. EST, after preliminary results showed that he had won 270 votes in the electoral college, meaning the number required for a candidate to win the position of President of the United States.
But it may be different this time, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which will change the voting pattern of tens of millions of Americans.
In the past, mail voting was restricted to specific cases such as patients, but it is now available in expensive US states due to the pandemic.
In the 2016 US presidential election, a quarter of the votes came in the mail, and this election is expected to reach 80 million, double the previous election.
Moreover, the precautions imposed by the epidemic may cause long queues at polling stations, because fewer people will be allowed to enter each time, which means more delays.
Three vital swing states – Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin – do not allow ballots to begin by mail until Election Day itself.
Americans began voting in the US elections since last September, in what is known as early voting, but the decisive day in the elections is the third of next November, when the largest number of them vote.
The first polling stations close at 7 pm EST.
After the polls close in the United States on Election Day, the counting process begins, which may be expected to take days and possibly weeks.
But are the Americans and the world waiting for the official announcement?
The Americans are always waiting for the announcement of the preliminary results, which are presented by the media on election night, and accordingly, the winning candidate declares his victory, and does not wait for the official announcement that is issued after a day or days.
In the 2016 elections, official results were announced a day after the vote.
The federal law allows until December 8 for states to resolve a dispute over their representatives in the electoral college that chooses the president.
As a result, members of the Electoral College meet in December in order to vote on the choice of the next US president. In the past it happened that some party members betrayed his candidate and voted for the other candidate.
The British newspaper “The Independent” says that Americans need to accept the fact that the result may not be immediately apparent, due to the circumstances imposed by the Corona pandemic.