Mail-in Ballot Counts Will Delay Election Results Again. Is This Normal?

The White House, local officials, and mainstream media have warned that today’s election results might be delayed across the country, just like in 2020, assuring Americans that this is “normal.”

Updated Nov. 13, 2022: A previous version of this post wrongly stated that Pennsylvania's Secretary of State told officials to disobey a state Supreme Court ruling. It was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Where? Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, the four states that will determine the Senate majority, likely won’t know all their election results by the end of the day, along with California, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Alaska.

Why? Due to their policies, most of these states heavily use mail-in voting or take several days after election night to count mail-in ballots. Several states prohibit counting mail-in votes until election day, and some allow voters to mail them as late as election day, even though counties won’t receive and count them for days after.

Is this “normal”? No.

It’s not normal for America: The first time mail-in voting delayed general election results on a large scale in the U.S. was in 2020 when states loosened restrictions due to the pandemic and more Americans refused to vote in person. Several Blue states then passed laws to make expanded mail-in voting permanent.

It’s not normal globally, either: Major countries like Italy, Brazil, and Israel have all recently had elections with no delay. In less developed countries like Zimbabwe, delayed election results occur, resulting in protests and riots as people lose confidence in elections.

The delayed results are a concerted effort: In Pennsylvania, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against counting mail-in ballots with no dates, the Democratic Secretary of State told election officials to disobey the ruling. Pennsylvania also voted to remove a time-intensive counting process last week but will reinstate it as of today. Left-wing activists in Wisconsin also sued to allow mail-in ballots with incomplete addresses.

Big picture: Delayed election results are not normal, and they’re also not coincidental. As Democrats loosen mail-in voting while ignoring the difficulties of ballot counting, delayed results will continue eroding the population’s confidence in America’s election system.

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