Final Election Results May Come Later than Voters Expect

Dawn Milam & Sean McElwee

Executive Summary

A Data For Progress and The Justice Collaborative Institute poll shows that nearly half of likely voters (47%) believe that they will know the winner of the presidential election on election day.

These results are alarming because President Donald Trump continues to suggest, and media outlets continue to repeat, that the winner of the presidential election will be known on election day. Trump pairs this assertion with the false statement that any election results that include ballots counted after Nov. 3 cannot be trusted. This misleading narrative threatens to undermine public confidence in a free and fair election.

Election results are never final on election night—states have certification dates that allow for all votes to be tabulated more than a month later. It’s not uncommon for votes that are counted after election night to change the outcome of a race. This year there is a much higher risk than usual that the winner of the presidential election will not be known on Nov. 3.

Final Election Results May Come Later than Voters Expect
Final Election Results May Come Later than Voters Expect