BALLOT BATTLE: How Long Will Results Take?


All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 35 U.S. Senate seats, and 36 governorships are at stake.

Today’s midterms will be crucial for the future of the country, and the outlook is deep red.

Republicans Expect to Win

To gain a house majority, Republicans are required to gain five seats, but they would only need to gain one in the Senate.

Impartial election predictors and opinion surveys indicate that Republicans have an extremely strong chance of capturing a majority in congress, an outcome that may become evident on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile command of the Senate is expected to be more closely contested and take much longer to determine.

So How Long Will It Take To Know the Official Winners?

With scores of contests predicted to be tight and critical states like Pennsylvania reportedly indicating it could take several days to tally every ballot, analysts say it’s likely that the United States will not know who prevailed on election night.

Nathan Gonzales, who writes the impartial journal Inside Elections, stated that it’s going to be more of a weeklong effort to find out the winners.

Since Democrats vote by mail more frequently than Republicans, states that allow authorities to start to count mail votes prematurely may initially show large Democratic leads that dissipate as poll workers sort through election-day ballots with a Republican tilt.

In some “blue mirage” states, including Florida and North Carolina, poll workers are permitted to extract mail ballots from their packets and put them into vote tallying machines before Election Day.

This speeds up the vote tally.

Different Rules, Different Lag Times

States like as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin do not permit authorities to handle the packages until Election Day, creating the potential for a “red mirage” in which several Democratic-leaning postal ballots are tabulated later than Republican-leaning Election Day ballots.

All through the evening, experts such as Joe Lenski, co-founder of Edison Research, which also will follow hundreds of contests on Tuesday and provide Reuters and other media outlets with findings, will monitor the variety of ballot forms each state is processing.

According to observers, it may be several days before the senate’s control is determined if the battle for the House is still competitive as vote counts begin to arrive from the West Coast, where there might be upwards of a dozen competitive House races.

California often takes weeks to tally all of its ballots, in part because it counts ballots with Election Day postmarks even if they come days after Election Day. Nevada and Washington also permit late ballots if they are postmarked by November 8, delaying the arrival of final results.

Tight Race Ahead

It may take much longer, possibly weeks longer, to establish which party would dominate the Senate, with close races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia probably deciding the outcome.

If the Georgia Senate race is as competitive as anticipated and no candidate obtains upwards of 50% of the vote, a run-off election will be held on December 6, which might imply that the chamber’s leadership is uncertain until then.

The inauguration of the next Congress is scheduled for January 3, 2023.