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Factcheck

No one knows who won the presidential race yet since votes are still being counted.

The Facts

As of November 4th, states are actively processing and counting ballots. Any claims of victory in the presidential election are not accurate. In modern elections, no state reports certified election results on Election Day. Provisional ballots, military ballots from overseas, and ballots that are accepted with an Election Day postmark can be counted days after voting ends. State laws give election officials weeks to finalize results to ensure ALL votes are completely and accurately counted. News outlets may call winners in advance of certified results, but those are based on projections using statistical models and partial counts.

This year in particular, it is taking longer to finalize results due to the historic number of voters using mail ballots and high voter turnout. Processing those votes takes time and specialized equipment, and some states weren’t able to begin processing ballots until Election Day. But even in those cases, election officials are committed to properly and completely counting ballots – even if it takes a little extra time. Viewers can watch the vote counting process in many states (ex., see Philadelphia counting here)

For context, here is a chart of the percent of votes counted in 2016 the day after Election Day (source: Charles Stewart III).

Last updated Wednesday, November 4, 2020 12:04 PM EST

Trusted Sources

After the Voting Ends: The Steps to Complete an Election - NCSL →

Maricopa County, AZ Ballot Processing Live Stream →

Philadelphia City Commissioners Live Stream →