Well, here we are.
After a particularly grueling campaign cycle, Election Day in America has finally arrived. But with the pandemic still raging, a president intent on disrupting democratic norms, and the specter of post-election violence looming large, Tuesday night promises to be unlike any other in the country’s electoral history.
First, some good news. More than 100 million Americans have already cast their ballots. That’s more than 70 percent of the total votes that were cast in 2016, putting the U.S. on track for a record turnout. And while the majority of polls show Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in a landslide, the sheer volume of mail-in ballots means that there might not be a winner declared on election night.
That’s where the anxiety creeps in.
The prevailing fear among Democrats is that Trump will declare victory before all the votes are counted, as reports have suggested. And if he does lose, the president has already laid the groundwork to challenge the results of the election in court.
The hope is that certain key states are called on Election Day, which would clear a path for a potential winner and prevent the widespread civil unrest that would likely ensue if the election was dragged out over the coming days and weeks. Here, we’ll be updating the state-by-state results as they come in from The Associated Press. That number you see beside each state is the amount of electoral votes each state is worth. The candidate who reaches 270 electoral votes wins.
The one you want to keep an eye on is Florida. The state’s laws allow mail-in votes to be counted ahead of Election Day, and experts say that if Biden carries the state, Trump has virtually no path to winning the election. The polls in Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio will also be among the first to close, and all are expected to be tightly contested.
And please remember, American democracy is nothing if not resilient. So sit back, pour yourself the stiffest of drinks, and if at any point you feel like screaming do it in a pillow. Some of us are trying to sleep.