FEC commissioner: 'Substantial chance' of no results on election night

FEC commissioner: 'Substantial chance' of no results on election night
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Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Commissioner Ellen Weintraub warned Monday that there’s a "substantial chance" results for the presidential and down-ballot races may not be known on election night, as voters will likely shift to more mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Let me just tell everybody, we’re all going to need to take a deep breath and be patient this year because there’s a substantial chance we are not going to know on election night what the results are,” Weintraub said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“Probably for the presidency, but maybe for many other races that are important to people, and that's OK. If it takes a little bit longer to count all the votes accurately, that's what we need to do in order to ensure that everyone's vote counts,” she added. 

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Weintraub said mail-in and absentee voting will be a “preferred alternative” for many voters this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. She noted that there was an increase in absentee voting during the recent Kentucky primary compared to other years. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau intends to wrap up count on Oct. 5 despite judge's order Top House Republican calls for probe of source of NYT Trump tax documents New Yorkers report receiving ballots with wrong name, voter addresses MORE has repeatedly railed against mail-in voting, making unsubstantiated claims that it leads to voter fraud. 

But Weintraub, a Democrat, said on Monday that there can “absolutely” be an honest election in the country with mail-in voting. 

“It’s been done before. It’s safe. There is no substantial risk of fraud involved in absentee voting,” she said. 

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She also said voting experts do not distinguish between absentee and mail-in voting, despite the president’s efforts to endorse absentee voting and bash mail-in options. 

She did, however, push for more federal funding for states and localities as they adjust to ramp up mail-in voting programs and provide safety measures for voters who choose to vote in person in November. 

“The entire operation is going to be much more expensive,” Weintraub said. 

“So far Congress has allocated $400 million, they really need to allocate more money now. I’m very concerned about this, and that is the No. 1 priority right now,” she added.