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 Schumer (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 Trump 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. 

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 Klobuchar (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.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (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 Murphy (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.

Tags 2020 election 2020 election results 2020 presidential election absentee ballots Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Chris Murphy Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Election Day Election Day 2020 mail-in ballots mail-in voting voting by mail

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