Local election officials say don't expect election results right away | Michigan Radio

Local election officials say don't expect election results right away

Oct 19, 2020

A local government ballot drop box.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Local election officials say you likely won't see complete election results on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. They say if everything runs perfectly, you might see results on Wednesday. If things don't go quite as well, they say you should expect a delay of as much as several days.

Democratic City Clerk Chris Swope of Lansing and Republican City Clerk Tina Barton of Rochester Hills told reporters that it might take longer than voters want, but it's better to be right, than to rush things.

“We’re (all) ready for results. At the same time, what’s important to us is the security of the process, the accuracy, and the integrity,” Barton said.

The clerks say they’re getting many more absentee voting ballots than in years past. Michigan’s laws are still more strict than many other states about when and how officials can start counting.

“We have to anticipate that that time period could go well into Wednesday at some point because here in Michigan once you start, you don’t stop on Tuesday. It just keeps going," Barton explained.

The officials say making laws that some other states have found to be successful could make things go smoother in Michigan.

Polls of voters across the nation show that half of them don’t expect the election to go smoothly. On average, they say they wouldn’t be surprised if it took three days. Elections officials say it could take even longer, because some states are not prepared for the expected turn out at the polls and the volume of mail-in ballots.

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