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Most voters expect to wait past election night to find out winner: poll

Most voters are expecting to wait beyond election night to find out the winner of this year's presidential election, according to a poll released Monday.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 66 percent of voters think the winner of the election will be announced after Election Day, while 20 percent said they expect the results on the night of Nov. 3. 

A plurality of voters said they think the results of the election will come out within a week, with 19 percent saying it will be announced the following day and 26 percent saying the winner will be confirmed in two to seven days. 

More than one in five voters, at 21 percent, think the election results will remain murky beyond one week. 

The expectations for a delay in election results comes after election administrators and voting rights activists have cautioned the influx in mail-in voting could disrupt the traditional election night.

This year a record number of people are expected to vote by mail due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Mail-in ballots can take longer to count than the traditional in-person ballots, which could delay the results. 

Multiple polls have indicated that many more Democrats than Republicans are expected to vote by mail, while Republicans are more likely to vote in person, sparking concerns that President Trump will claim a win before all of the ballots are counted. 

In the Politico/Morning Consult poll, a majority at 53 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned that Trump would declare victory before the results were final. About one-third said the same about Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll surveyed 1,986 registered voters between Sept. 25 and 27. The margin of error amounted to 2 percentage points. 

A Politico analysis determined that three swing states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, do not permit mail-in ballots to be counted before Election Day. Michigan's Republican legislature has passed a bill that would allow them to be counted earlier, but changes in the other two states are looking unlikely.

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