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Senate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night

Senate Democrats seek to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are seeking to alleviate public concern about some results not being available on election night, with the message “that’s OK.”

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNikki Haley unveils PAC ahead of possible 2024 White House bid Trump calls for 'NO violence' amid concerns of threats around inauguration Amazon cites death threats in push to keep Parler offline MORE (D-N.Y.) said during a call with reporters on Sunday that the Democrats are “united in sending a simple, but critical, message” as Election Day looms 16 days away. 

The call came as President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol MORE has spent the past several months spreading unfounded claims that voting by mail opens up the election to fraud and warning that it will take “months” or “years” to determine a winner due to the large number of expected mail-in votes. 

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Senate Democrats also on Sunday released a report on "what to expect" on Election day. The report, discussed during the call, separates states into four categories, depending on whether states require ballots to be received on or before Election Day and whether early processing of these ballots is permitted. 

Several battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, allow “little or no advanced processing” of ballots ahead of election night, creating concerns for potential delays in results. Other swing states such as Iowa, Ohio and North Carolina could see postponed results because they allow ballots to be received after Election Day.  

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharGoogle completes Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: Fringe social networks boosted after Capitol attack | Planned protests spark fears of violence in Trump's final days | Election security efforts likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots MORE (D-Minn.) said the different rules in each state mean not all races will likely be decided on election night as in the past. 

“We all have to put our arms around this idea that that’s OK and that we should expect that,” she told reporters, adding “We as Democrats are doing everything to fight to protect the right to vote.”

“We should be prepared to reject misinformation and be patient about results in places where counting ballots may take longer,” Klobuchar added in a statement with the report.

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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (I-Vt.) expressed hope as some states have done “an excellent job in anticipating” an increased processing of mail-in ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic, while “unfortunately other states have not done that.”

The Vermont independent said American democracy “means that every vote must be counted no matter how long it takes.”

Sanders also warned that several polls have shown that Democrats are more likely to vote by mail, meaning the results “may initially favor [President] Trump and Republican candidates” as the mail-in votes are still being counted. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyLawmakers push back on late Trump terror designation for Yemen's Houthis Bipartisan anger builds over police failure at Capitol McConnell vows 'painstaking investigation' and 'thorough review' of Capitol security MORE (D-Conn.) said the Democrats “all expect” Trump “to play dirty on Election Day and the days afterward.”

“The best way to be ready for any dirty tricks coming from this president on Election Day and any day after is to be prepared,” he said as reasoning for the Democrats’ report. 

The Democratic report and message come as the contentious election approaches, in which a record-number of Americans are expected to vote early and vote by mail because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials have attempted to convey to the public that election night may not function as it has in past elections with increased voting by mail. The Pew Research Center determined that only half of voters expect the presidential election results to be available within one or two days of Election Day.