Speed Reads

waiting game

Election results will likely take a few days or even weeks to be finalized

Be prepared for midterm election results to take days or even weeks to be announced. 

Back in 2020, it took a full week for President Biden to be declared winner, largely due to the number of early votes and mail-in ballots that usually get counted after the day-of votes. While it should not take as long this time given that midterm elections tend to have lower voter turnout than presidential elections, some close races may trigger recounts or even a runoff election, reports The New York Times. Mail-in ballots also need to be processed and some may arrive after Nov. 8. 

Delayed results will likely add fuel to baseless claims of widespread election fraud, with some candidates like Arizona's Kari Lake (R) and Blake Masters (R) also contributing to the speculation. Mail-in ballots have become a talking point for election deniers, largely because of former President Donald Trump's vehement denial of their validity.

Because of the speculation, an Arizona right-wing advocacy group patrolled ballot drop-boxes with guns, even going so far as taking pictures of voters, behavior that a judge promptly barred. Pennsylvania is also putting aside any ballots that don't have a date on them, which many Democrats view as a means of voter suppression.

Despite this, election fraud is actually rare with numerous studies finding that mail-in ballots are actually more secure since the voter handles the entire process.