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Election 2020: Be Prepared to Wait for the Outcome

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Some experts say not only will election results not be available right away, they might also be disputed, which could further delay decisions in close races. (Adobe Stock)
Some experts say not only will election results not be available right away, they might also be disputed, which could further delay decisions in close races. (Adobe Stock)
 By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN - Producer, Contact
November 3, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS -- By this time tomorrow, it's very unlikely Hoosiers will know who has won the White House. Historically high numbers of absentee ballots as a result of the pandemic mean ensuring all votes are properly tallied will take longer than usual. And there also are concerns that the election results will be disputed.

Associate Professor of Political Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Aaron Dusso contends that possibility has been driven in the news cycle by President Donald Trump.

"This year, if we're really going to see a disputed election and some of the ugliness of court cases and people on TV with red faces, I would expect it to be a situation where the Electoral College is so close - something like Pennsylvania or Florida changing because of a recount," Dusso said.

In 11 of the past 12 presidential elections, Indiana's 11 Electoral College votes have gone to the Republican candidate. Official election tallies won't be available in Indiana until at least November 13, 10 days after Election Day, when county boards of elections will certify the election results.

And there's always the possibility candidates in any race could declare victory before all the votes are counted. Dusso encourages Indiana voters to listen to state election leaders when it comes to the final results.

He said most major professional news organizations also are reliable sources.

"It's going to be the numbers that are reported officially by the Secretary of State's office in every state. There's nothing partisan about that, so we can trust that," he said. "Once you go to social media and you're getting some random stuff from your, uh, uncle - let's not trust that!"

As of Monday morning, more than 1.7 million Indiana voters cast ballots early, in person or by mail. Polls today are open until 6 p.m., and mail-in ballots must arrive in local county election offices by noon.

For the most reliable local election information, visit the Indiana Secretary of State's website here.

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