When to expect Election Day results

Holsworth: 'We’re going to find out pretty quickly in Virginia'
Posted at 11:33 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 23:54:49-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- On Tuesday night, will Virginians know which presidential candidate carried the state? Will Central Virginians know the results of state and local elections?

“I think by in large, we’re going to find out pretty quickly in Virginia,” says CBS 6 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth. “Certainly for the presidential election and senate election, which I think aren’t going to be close.”

However, Holsworth predicts the 7th Congressional District election between Abigail Spanberger and Republican challenger Nick Freitas, could be extremely close. Holsworth says the Richmond mayoral race could also be undecided by Tuesday night.

This year, the Coronavirus pandemic has prompted more people than ever before to vote early, either by mail or in person.

In Chesterfield County alone, more than 58% of registered voters have already cast a ballot. But experts say early voting doesn’t necessarily equate to quick results on election night.

“It’s a federal election that takes place state by state so each state actually has very different rules when they start counting absentee ballots,” Holsworth says. “Some states have already started counting them, even though they’re not telling the results. Other states won’t even begin processing the ballots, (to see) whether the signatures are correct, whether the address is correct, until tomorrow evening.”

Some states, such as Florida and Ohio allow this process to start weeks before Election Day. However, in other battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, early votes won’t be processed until Tuesday.

Holsworth adds that half of states will be accepting ballots that arrive after Election Day, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3, which could mean more delays in counting.

Experts say all eyes will be on key battleground states on election night in determining how soon a winner could be declared.

“If this race does come down to Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, that could go on some time,” Holsworth says.

According to a recent study, the pandemic has already led to more than 300 election related legal challenges in 44 states.

🗳️RELATED: Your voter's guide to the 2020 General Election

🗳️Complete Local Coverage: Election 2020

Richmond Mayoral Race
Mayoral candidate Kim Gray
Mayoral candidate Justin Griffin
Mayoral candidate Tracey McLean
Mayoral candidate Alexsis Rodgers
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney

U.S. House - 7th District
Rep. Abigail Spanberger
Del. Nick Freitas

U.S. Senate
Sen. Mark Warner (D) and challenger Daniel Gade (R) take part in "The People's Debate"

To learn more about key local elections, from Congressional seats to mayoral races to school board seats, click here for the CBS 6 voter's guide.

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