Election officials warn results may not be final on election night

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Elections officials and some lawmakers say it will be incumbent upon them to prepare the nation for a delay in election results. More than 80 million voters are expected to mail in their ballots, which will likely result in a delayed count that might not yield a winner until weeks after election day.

“It might take longer than folks maybe expect or realize because that’s the process,” said New Mexico Secretary of State, Democrat Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

She and her counterparts around the country expect record numbers of absentee and mail-in ballots, which she says take longer to count. “The important thing for folks to know is this is a very normal process. It occurs every election. And for us, we always have election week or election month,” she said.

Toulouse Oliver says it’s possible there will be enough uncounted ballots in some states, that we may not know the true result until weeks after Nov. 3.

“Nothing would be worse, no matter who’s ahead on election night, if people kind of jump to conclusions,” said Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.). He says both the Biden and Trump campaigns have a responsibility not to scare the public or sow distrust in the election process.

“That is not cause for alarm, that’s not cause for concern…it’s my responsibility, it’s the media’s responsibility to educate Americans that we may go to bed on Nov. 3 not knowing who our president is.”

“The goal is to make it easy to vote. Voting by mail is okay,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina.

Graham said he does take issue with universal mail-in voting, but says there’s nothing wrong with more people choosing to vote absentee from home, even if there is a delay in announcing a winner. “It may take a few days to get all the results in.”

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t get an election result, and get an election result on election night,” said Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Cruz says it’s disturbing to hear talk of a delayed vote count. He criticized Democrats, saying they will be unwilling to accept the results of the election on November 3rd because of their contempt for President Trump.  

“I think the chances are 100% the Democrats are going to challenge the legitimacy of the election. They’re planning to file litigation,” said Cruz.

In August, when asked if President Trump would accept the results of the election, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president would have to wait and see how the process plays out.

“The president has always said he’ll see what happens and make a determination in the aftermath. He wants a free election, a fair election,” said McEnany.

Whether it takes days or weeks, election officials say voters should trust the election results. They say a delayed result is better than a rushed count.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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