The result of the US Presidential Elections 2020 could be delayed on the night of election day. Due to the increase in mail-in voting triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the results in many states are expected to be delayed since counting postal votes can take more time.
Voting in the US Presidential elections takes in place in three ways - In person on election day, in person and early, and via a mail-in ballot.
Old people or those with serious medical conditions or those not available in their state at the time of voting are allowed to cast their ballots through the postal service. These postal ballots take longer to count than a normal ballot as each vote's signature is matched with the voter registration card. For instance, the final vote count in the 2016 elections took more than a month to complete.
Furthermore, rules on how to count these votes vary between different states.
However, what's different from previous election years' postal ballots from this year is the sheer volume and according to some estimates could go as high as 8 crores, almost twice as much as in 2016.
Given the volume of postal ballot, the leads could sharply vary as the votes are counted and add to confusion too.
Of course, a lot of focus on postal ballot counting will come if there is no clear winner on Tuesday and then it could take a few weeks before a clear picture emerges. This could open the pandora's box, including a disputed election result and long legal battles as the Trump camp has also hinted.
(Edited by: By Abhishek Jha)
First Published: IST