What’s Happening:
2020 Election Results

Four years ago, most of us woke up the day after the election in a state of shock. We were sad, angry, and terrified about what a Trump presidency would mean for America.

It turns out we weren’t wrong to worry. These years have been some of the most difficult we’ve gone through as a country – filled with unbearable pain, cruelty, suffering, and loss. At times, it would’ve been easy, maybe even understandable, to tune out the shitshow entirely and decide that what was broken about politics just couldn’t be fixed.

At least, that’s what Donald Trump was counting on.

But that’s not what happened.

What happened was that people poured into airports to protest the Muslim ban. Women marched in the streets with their daughters and sons. Crowds rushed to the border to show the world that immigrant children were being ripped from the arms of their parents. Organizers filled the halls of Congress to protect millions from losing their health care. Students launched a movement to save their friends from gun violence, and another to save the planet from climate change. Black and brown and white Americans of all ages took part in the largest demonstrations this country has ever seen to battle the forces of racism and injustice.

Some of you who’ve stepped up in the last few years have been in this fight for a long time. But for a lot of you, it was the first time. The first time you ever called Congress. The first time you knocked on doors. The first time you ever donated to a candidate, made calls, sent texts. The first time you joined a campaign, or even ran for office yourself.

The power of all this activism has been obvious long before today. You saved the Affordable Care Act. You helped win special elections and off-year elections and downballot elections in some of the reddest places in the country. You flipped the House in 2018 with record turnout, and helped send more women and people of color to a Congress that’s younger than ever before.

You all may have supported different candidates in the 2020 primary, but when it was over you rallied around Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Democratic candidates up and down the ticket for the fight of our lives. Through Vote Save America alone, more than 300,000 signed up to volunteer in a battleground state. You raised over $44 million for candidates and causes, registered 270,000 voters, made over 11 million calls and sent over 10 million texts.

You didn’t just do this for yourself. You did it for a family member who might be sick, or a friend who might be worried about deportation. You did it for millions of people you haven’t even met. You did it because you believed that despite everything that’s bad and broken about our country, we could still beat back the greatest threat to America in our lifetimes.

In the end, it wasn’t close. Donald Trump lost. We won. Joe Biden will be our next President, Kamala Harris will be our next Vice President, and democracy lives to fight another day.



What to Expect on Election Night

Like everything else in 2020, election night in America will be unprecedented. For the first time, we have a massive divide in the way people voted and that is going to lead to some pretty wonky returns on November 3rd. The point is, we may not know the final results for days (and possible a week or more). So sit tight, be patient, and demand that every election official is given the time to count every vote, according to state laws.

election results

Updated: 8:40 PM ET, Mon November 2, 2020

Road to the White House: The Electoral College

Ah yes, the electoral college. Not an institution of higher learning, but a devilish, constitutional requirement that determines who wins in a presidential election. The Founders viewed this as an imperfect compromise between electing a president by popular vote and solely giving Congress the power to choose who wins.



When Will We Know?

  • Georgia?

    Polls close at 7 p.m. Eastern, and timing of the results should be relatively quick. Counties were allowed to start processing absentee ballots on Oct. 19, and only ballots mailed from overseas may arrive after Nov. 3. “For races that aren’t too close, we’ll have those results” on election night, the secretary of state told WSB-TV. “For the races that are very, very close, we believe that we’ll have them by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.”

  • North Carolina?

    Early votes and processed mail ballots, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Joe Biden, will be reported around 7:30 p.m. ET. Election Day results, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Trump, will be reported between 8:30 p.m. and 1 a.m ET. Officials estimate that upwards of 80 percent of ballots cast will be reported on election night, so there could be a definitive result on Nov. 3, but the Senate race is tight, so it’s possible a final projection could take some time here.

  • Florida election?

    All early voting and previously tabulated mail ballots, which are likely to be relatively stronger for Joe Biden, should be reported by 8:30 p.m. Eastern. Officials did not make a projection for the timing of full unofficial results, but they were allowed to process early-arriving mail ballots starting weeks before the election, so Florida could be more or less decided on election night.

  • Nebraska-02?

    Polls close at 9 p.m. Eastern, and we should know relatively quickly whether Joe Biden has secured NE-02’s one electoral vote he may need in the case of an electoral college tie (we don’t want to think about it either). Nebraska allows absentee ballots to be counted early and requires regular absentee ballots to arrive by Election Day.

  • Texas?

    Polls close at 9 p.m. Eastern. Early votes, Election Day votes and absentee ballots received by 7 p.m. local time on Nov. 3 will all be counted that night, which should give a pretty clear picture of the state of the races there and the majority of the results should be known on election night. Absentee ballots are allowed to arrive as late as 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday, so there is a chance a fair number of ballots could still be outstanding and something to keep an eye on.

  • Wisconsin?

    Gov. Tony Evers has said he expects to know the results on election night, or by the day after at the latest. The elections director in Milwaukee County, which officials say has the potential to be the latest to report, said that results could take until between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

  • Arizona?

    Arizona is a heavily vote-by-mail state. The good news is a new law allows officials to count mail votes starting two weeks before the election. Here’s what to know: the first votes, typically reported at 10 p.m. Eastern, are likely to be stronger for Joe Biden. Officials are not predicting the share of ballots that will be reported by Wednesday, but keep in mind that it took several days in 2018 before it was clear that now-Sen. Kyrsten Sinema had defeated Republican Martha McSally in Arizona’s close Senate race. McSally conceded six days after the election.

  • Michigan?

    In Michigan, processing of ballots does not begin until Election Day, or the day before the election in some jurisdictions. If there are a significant number of mail ballots outstanding at the end of the night, the reported totals could be relatively stronger for Trump, but officials have said that full unofficial results could take until Friday, Nov. 6.

  • Pennsylvania?

    Officials can’t begin to process mail ballots until Election Day itself, and if there are a significant number of mail ballots outstanding at the end of the night, the reported totals could be relatively stronger for Trump. State officials expect “the overwhelming majority” of votes will be counted by Friday, Nov. 6.

  • Where else?

    The Bedwetters Anonymous chapter at Crooked Media will also be keeping an eye on Minnesota (polls close at 9 p.m. Eastern, we should know most, but not all, results that night); Ohio (polls close at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and most results will come quickly, but absentee counting may drag it out); Iowa (polls close at 10 p.m. Eastern, and most results will come quickly, but last minute absentees may come in later); and Nevada (polls close at 10 p.m. Eastern. Nevada mailed a ballot to every active registered voter for the first time, and is only requiring that ballots be mailed back by Nov. 3, not received by then. If populus Clark County is able to start counting votes early, we might get most results on election night, but we’ll still have to wait until at least Nov. 10 when the state stops accepting mailed ballots for final results.)

When will we know about the senate?

Some of the most competitive races to determine who will control the Senate are in states with a history of slow counting or rules in place that could mean we won’t have a result on election night— or until next year. 

  • Montana’s 2018 Senate race wasn’t called until midday Wednesday in 2018, so it could be a wait to know if Steve Bullock has defeated Sen. Steve Daines in the battle of the Steves. 
  • As we mentioned, Arizona’s heavy use of mail ballots could mean we won’t know the outcome of their closely-watched Senate race between Mark Kelly and Sen. Martha McSally for a few days either. In 2018, McSally conceded six days after the election (yes, you read that right, McSally has already – and very recently – lost an election for a Senate seat but has one anyway. Funny how that works.)
  • Maine has ranked-choice voting, which means voters will rank their picks and if neither Sen. Susan Collins or Sara Gideon gets 50 percent of first choice votes outright, anyone who voted for one of the two third-party candidates on the ballot will be reallocated to their second or third choices until someone has a majority. In a close 2018 House race, that meant now-Democratic Rep. Jared Golden wasn’t declared the winner in his race until more than a week after Election Day.
  • Alaska’s tens-of-thousands of absentee ballots won’t be counted until Nov. 10, so we may not know if Dr. Al Gross has defeated Sen. Dan Sullivan until the last dog sleds arrive (not a joke, folks.) 
  • This is the one that has us clearing our calendars for December: Georgia could determine control of the Senate. And that may not happen until January. Georgia has two very competitive Senate races, and unless a candidate gets over 50 percent on November 3, both races will go to a run-off on Jan. 5. This is more likely to happen in the special election where Rev. Raphael Warnock leads a very crowded field of candidates, but the race between Sen. David Perdue and Jon Ossoff could go to a runoff as well if the Libertarian candidate on the ballot keeps either from cracking 50. This means if Democrats net two seats in November, the Senate could be deadlocked at 49-49 heading into these runoffs.