Days after Americans cast their ballots, the final outcome of the 2022 midterm elections remains unclear and officials warned it could take weeks to know the final verdict of the polls.
The delay is due to several factors, including the narrow margin between the candidates and the fact that the state of Georgia – a key battleground state for the Senate – is headed for a runoff election.
Another reason for the delay is the decentralized way in which elections are conducted in the US, in which States have different rules about how and when mail-in votes are counted,
The issue of the delay has been politically contentious since the 2020 presidential election, when then-President Donald Trump tried to claim victory the next morning while votes were still being counted, calling the recount a “fraud”. and declared a “disgrace”.
This week, Trump once again questioned the transparency and credibility of the process through his Truth Social social network, where he canvassed polls in various states. “Disaster for the integrity of the electorate” and accused his opponents of “trying to steal the election with bad machines and delays”.
However, before the elections opened, election officials across the country had warned that Delay is a normal and expected part American elections.
In a speech given on November 2, President Joe Biden urged citizens to have “patience” while ballots are being counted “in a lawful and orderly manner”.
Let us see why the certified results are coming slowly.
Vote by Mail More Early
Although final numbers are not yet available, preliminary data from the US Election Project suggests that more than 112.34 million Americans – about 47% of the electorate – participated in this year’s midterm elections.
Although turnout was lower than in the previous 2018 midterm elections, In some states it appears to have reached an all-time high,
In this process 4.2 crore people voted in advance and by post Last Tuesday, before November 8, surpassed the 39.1 million who did so in 2018. This is one of the factors which is delaying the final count.
Different states have different rules on how mail-in ballots are processed.
For example, Pennsylvania is one of 8 states where only elections officials are allowed begin to account ballot on election day,
In Maryland, by contrast, state rules stipulate that ballot processing cannot begin until 10:00 a.m. local time on the morning after the election.
for his part, 16 states and Washington D.C.,C, They do not allow counting to begin until polls close on Election Day, while 23 other states allow counting to begin before polling stations close. Only 10 states allow ballots to be counted before Election Day: in this case November 8th.
19 states also have a grace period that allows ballots to be counted later, as long as they were mailed before Election Day.
In California, for example, Envelopes containing votes can be received for one more week,
In Arizona, by contrast, they must arrive before Election Day, although officials have 20 days to count them.
recalculation and runoff
Delays may also be due to recounts, which may occur when the margin between candidates is too close or, in many states, when requested by one of the applicants.
However, the process varies slightly by state, with 41 states and Washington DC allowing you to request a recalculation. is in 22 states automatic calculation,
In Georgia – where there is a close contest between Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Senator Herschel Walker – the winning candidates must receive at least 50% of the vote.
With a third contender in the race, none of the 2 candidates reached the required threshold and this triggered the call for a second roundWhich will happen on 6 December. This scenario is a repeat of the 2020 elections in the state.
“At the end of the day, everybody wants to know that we have honest and fair elections, and we do,” Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said on November 9. “I ask voters to go out and vote one last time.”
Where is the delay?
While campaigning continues across the country, delays have been most pronounced in Arizona, where a large number of voters chose to vote by mail.
before the election the officials of that state had warned Processing can take up to 12 days, Voters have 5 days to correct their signature if requested by the officials.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is also a candidate for governor, said in October, “As much as we all want to see a winner in these very close races on election night, it’s not going to happen.”
“these things take time”“, He added.
As of Wednesday, November 9, thousands of ballots remained uncounted, including about 400,000 in Maricopa County and almost 159,000 in Pima CountyWhere officials said that the final result is not expected before 14 or 15 November.
After reporting machine problems on Election Day, Maricopa County has pledged that ballots will be “counted safely and accurately.”
Though the problems were “frustrating” and “inconvenient”, officials assured Final tally will not be affected,
American media assures that this friday night Maricopa’s first results could be drawn up.
Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has repeatedly called the system into question. In an election night speech at his campaign headquarters, he suggested that “inefficiency” was preventing an “honest election”.
“The system we have now doesn’t work”He added.
Counting of votes is also underway in Nevada, where thousands of votes are yet to be counted in Clark County (Las Vegas). Representatives of both political parties have asked voters to be patient.
Are there delays in other countries?
Although delays in election results occur in other countries, the US stands for its length largely due to its decentralized system.
For example, the results of the 1 November election in Israel were announced on 3 November. At the same time, there are second round of general elections in Brazil on 30 October. They met on the same day.
Among European countries, Sweden is one where high turnout percentages and narrow margins often drag out results for several days. Preliminary results of the country’s 11 September general election were not available until 15 September, with official results coming almost a week later.
In 2019, it took more than a month for the results of the Indonesian presidential elections to be announced on 17 April: they were announced on 21 May. Votes are counted largely by hand and in full view of the public at the country’s more than 800,000 polling stations.
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