Setting Expectations for Election Night

Elected officials and the media must set public expectations that the November 3 election results may not be finalized until days or weeks after the election.

Due to unprecedented reliance on mail-in voting, it is unlikely that the results of the U.S. presidential election and other competitive races nationwide will be definitively known on November 3. This memo explains why, in order to prevent election night chaos and potential violence, elected officials and members of the media must begin setting public expectations now that election results may not be realistically finalized until days or even weeks following the election.


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