Election Day is upon us. As the final votes are cast across the country, the question on everyone’s mind is: who’s going to win?
It’s complicated. We are may not have the answer for a while. We’ll have you covered here with all major updates as the night progresses.
With more than 100 million votes cast early, the 2020 election is on track to hit the highest turnout in more than 100 years.
- The day has been running relatively smoothly at the polls, but voters in some states across the country have reported receiving robocalls discouraging them from casting their ballot and false information about voting Pennsylvania has flooded the internet.
- In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, polling places nationwide have taken to curbside voting for people who have tested positive for the virus.
Trump takes West Virginia — 7:35 p.m. ET
Decision Desk HQ has called West Virginia for President Trump. The state has five electoral votes.
Biden takes Vermont — 7:20 p.m. ET
Democratic nominee Joe Biden has won Vermont and its three electoral votes, according to Decision Desk HQ.
Polls have started to close — 7:03 p.m. ET
The first polls closed in Indiana and Kentucky at 6 p.m. ET, and election results will slowly trickle in as polls across the country close throughout the night and the vote counting commences.
Despite everyone’s worst expectations, Election Day has been running relatively smoothly, with few disruptions at the polls — so far, at least. Voting is far from over, and people who are in line when polls close can still cast their ballot.
But there have been issues. Voters in battleground states have reported receiving robocalls discouraging them from voting, and false information about voting in Pennsylvania has been spreading like wildfire on the internet.
The really hard part begins now that polls are starting to close and vote counting begins. President Trump, who has consistently lagged behind former vice president Joe Biden in polls, has for months laid the groundwork to challenge the election results. And if Biden wins, but not decisively, Trump could very take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court, as he has signaled he would do.
For now, there’s no way of knowing if we’ll find out who won the election tomorrow, or Friday, or even next week. But there’s one silver lining, no matter the result: More than 100 million people already voted before Election Day, and this presidential election is on track to hit a record high turnout in more than a century. It’s a stunning feat for a country besieged by a deadly pandemic, and infamous for its hourslong lines at the polls.
How we got here
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a giant spike in early and mail-in voting. More than 95 million Americans cast their votes before Tuesday.
The record number of mail-in votes will likely delay vote counting in several states. It’s possible that the winner might not be determined on election night. In-person votes on Election Day tend to skew Republican while absentee ballots usually favor Democrats. So, states that count absentee ballots late may give the impression that Trump is winning, only for Biden to overtake him as more votes are counted.
This is not unusual, but Trump is using this as a way to sow distrust and confusion and undermine the process.
The president has spent the last few weeks of the campaign trying to suppress the vote and casting doubt on the validity of mail-in voting — which he has used for years — suggested that it’s illegal for a winner not to be declared on election night. He has also said there would be “bedlam” if a winner was not called tonight.
Let’s be clear: despite what the president says, there is nothing illegal or fraudulent about a winner not being called tonight. We at BuzzFeed News have partnered with the analysts at Decision Desk to help determine who won what state. Sometimes, based on how many votes have been counted, those calls can be made quickly. Sometimes, like in tight races, you need to wait as state officials count.
The first polls closed at 6 p.m. ET in parts of Indiana and Kentucky, and the last polls will close at 1 a.m. ET in Alaska.
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