Election 2020

New England Election Officials Ready for Tuesday But Voters Stressed About How Long Results Could Take

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is expected to discuss election security Monday.

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Election Day is almost here, and many are wondering if we'll know the results Tuesday night. If not, how long will the wait be? Some voters say they're stressed and angry just thinking about possible recounts and a long, drawn-out fight before a winner is announced.

A steady stream of voters braved the elements in Massachusetts to drop off their ballots on a rainy Sunday night in New England.

"I think everyone should have their voice be heard during this election," one woman said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is expected to discuss election security Monday, as security remains a big worry, particularly following an incident in which a ballot box outside the Boston Public Library was set on fire.

The voter turnout has been high, though, with the Secretary of the Commonwealth saying Saturday that the number of ballots cast already in this election is equal to nearly 68-percent of everyone who voted in 2016.

But what does that mean on Election Day?

Each vote cast is another vote to be counted on Nov. 3. But when will we know a winner? That remains a big question.

According to Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin, though, some of the prep work is already underway.

Last week, local election officials started processing ballots, including striking voters off voter logs and removing ballots from envelopes, which should speed things up on Election Day.

But that's just in Massachusetts where the counting doesn't start until the last poll closes. Every state has their own rules when it comes to how they count votes.

"I am expecting kind of a long, drawn-out fight before we actually know," another woman said. "I'm just bracing myself for what's to come I guess, it makes me feel angry but I mean everything makes me feel angry, so I am waiting for relief."

In New Hampshire, all votes also aren't tabulated until the last poll closes, but election officials have said they expect a smooth operation. Whereas in Maine, where the Senate race is one of the closest watched races in the country, it might be a while.

That's because Maine is using ranked-choice voting for the presidential election, which means if neither Donald Trump nor Joe Biden wins a majority, officials have to go back and tabulate voters' second choice.

"I don't know it is up in the air right now," a third woman said. "Hoping for the best."

"I think there are going to be lots of recounts and other situations so I don't know, I don't think we'll find out that night," one person said.

No matter what, the next few days promise to be busy.

The Senate showdown between Sen. Susan Collins and Sara Gideon is the most expensive political race in Maine's history and one of the most closely watched in 2020. With two weeks to Election Day, the battle for the seat is as heated as it's ever been.
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