When To Expect Election Results In Every State

When To Expect Election Results In Every StateOctober 30, 2020

Intro

hed: When To Expect Election Results In Every State

dek: A complete guide to poll closing times, vote counting and races to watch on election night 2020

author1: [Nathaniel Rakich](https://fivethirtyeight.com/contributors/nathaniel-rakich/)

author2: [Elena Mejía](https://fivethirtyeight.com/contributors/elena-mejia-lutz/)

art: Illustrations by [David Huang](http://www.david-huang.com/)

see_also.readin:

[see_also.links]

*

[]

top: Back to top

Intro

[+intro]

[There’s a good chance](https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-were-planning-for-an-election-day-that-could-last-months/) we won’t know who won the presidential election on election night. More people than ever are [voting by mail this year](https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/weve-had-56-statewide-elections-during-the-pandemic-heres-what-we-learned-from-them/) due to the pandemic, and mail ballots take longer to count than ballots cast at polling places. But because each state has its own rules for how votes are counted and reported, some will report results sooner than others. Those disparate rules may also make [initial returns misleading](https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/bidens-supporters-appear-way-more-likely-to-vote-by-mail-than-trumps-that-could-make-for-a-weird-election-night/): The margins in some states may [shift toward Democrats](https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-pennsylvanias-vote-count-could-change-after-election-night/) as mail ballots (which are overwhelmingly cast by Democrats) are counted, while states that release mail ballots first may experience a shift toward Republicans as Election Day votes are tallied.

Here’s a general picture of how much of the vote we expect to be counted on election night in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. If you click on a given state, it’ll take you to a more detailed description of when to expect results and whether to expect a red or blue shift in the vote count.

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Cartogram

cartoDek: How much of the vote is expected to be counted on election night?

[legend]

A: Nearly all

B: Most but not all

C: Only some

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[legend_notes]

*

[]

[map]

AL: A

AK: C

AZ: B

AR: A

CA: C

CO: A

CT: C

DE: A

DC: C

FL: A

GA: B

HI: A

ID: A

IL: B

IN: B

IA: B

KS: B

KY: B

LA: B

ME: B

MD: C

MA: B

MI: B

MN: B

MS: B

MO: A

MT: A

NE: A

NV: C

NH: A

NJ: C

NM: B

NY: C

NC: B

ND: B

OH: B

OK: A

OR: A

PA: C

RI: B

SC: A

SD: B

TN: A

TX: B

UT: C

VT: A

VA: B

WA: C

WV: B

WI: B

WY: A

[]

[+second_intro]

The upshot for the presidential race is that we should have a pretty good idea of where things are headed on election night, even if no candidate is able to clinch 270 electoral votes (which is the threshold required to win) until later in the week. We should get near-complete results in Florida in a matter of hours; Arizona and North Carolina will release the vast majority of their ballots very quickly, although if the race is too close to call they may not provide a final answer for days. Georgia and Texas should tally most ballots on Nov. 3, but counting may stretch into Wednesday or Thursday. We should know the winner in Wisconsin by Wednesday morning; Michigan and Pennsylvania, by contrast, will probably take until the end of the week.

Of course, there are a lot more races on the ballot than just the presidential contest, so read on to get a more detailed picture of every state. One last caveat before you dive in: These are just our best guesses based on what we know right now. Things can always go sideways thanks to [human error](https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-ne-broward-election-audit-2018-brenda-snipes-20200526-rswvxtj2ljasjmfi7w75moo52e-story.html) or [technological failures](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/us/politics/iowa-democratic-caucuses.html). And, of course, even the fastest-counting state may leave a race uncalled for days if the margin is close enough.

[]

States

[states]

state: Alabama

Races_to_watch: Senate

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Should be pretty fast. A relatively small percentage of people are voting by mail in Alabama, which should help in getting results quickly. The secretary of state says the [results will be known](https://www.aldailynews.com/merrill-says-election-results-will-be-known-by-election-night-in-alabama/) on election night.

Shift_in_results: Nearly all absentee ballots are expected to be counted at roughly the same time as in-person votes, so there probably won’t be a noticeable blue or red shift.

state: Alaska

Races_to_watch: President, Senate, House

Last_polls_close: 1 a.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Get ready to wait. Election Day votes and early votes cast by Oct. 29 should be counted on election night, but the remainder of the early vote, as well as all absentee votes, won’t even begin to be counted until Nov. 10. With so many people voting absentee, it will probably take a week or two to declare winners here. Counting should be complete by Nov. 18.

Shift_in_results: Initial results in Alaska will probably be skewed toward Republicans since no mail ballots will be included in those totals. A blue shift could occur as absentee ballots are counted Nov. 10-18; however, absentee ballots here may not be quite as good for Democrats as they are in other states because Alaska mailed absentee-ballot applications to all voters age 65 and older, and older voters are more likely to vote Republican.

state: Arizona

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 1st and 6th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most votes should be counted on election night, but full results may take a few days. Early and absentee votes cast by the weekend before the election should be pre-counted and those results are expected to be released shortly after 10 p.m. Eastern (the earliest time results can be reported in Arizona, under state law). Election Day votes are also expected to be announced on election night. Together, these two categories are expected to constitute the vast majority of Arizona’s total votes. However, absentee ballots received at the last minute will not be reported until [perhaps Thursday or Friday](https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/arizona-election-day-adrian-fontes-voting-answers-polling-centers-11499710). So if it’s a close race, we might have to wait for those last few ballots before knowing who won.

Shift_in_results: The very first batch of results on election night is expected to be early and absentee votes, which will likely lean Democratic. Then, the results may [shift toward Republicans](https://ktar.com/story/3625059/arizona-ballot-leaders-could-change-quickly-on-election-night/) later in the evening as Election Day votes are counted. However, they may then shift back toward Democrats in the days after the election as the last few absentee ballots are tallied.

state: Arkansas

Races_to_watch: 2nd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 8:30 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: We probably won’t have to wait long. A spokesman for the secretary of state told FiveThirtyEight they are hopeful that Arkansas will have “pretty firm unofficial results at the end of the night,” although this year’s influx of absentee ballots makes the timing difficult to predict.

Shift_in_results: Early and absentee votes are the first ones released, so initial results could be skewed slightly toward Democrats.

state: California

Races_to_watch: 1st, 4th, 10th, 21st, 25th, 39th, 42nd, 45th, 48th and 50th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 11 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: As a state with a long tradition of mail voting, California has always taken a long time to report full results. Expect the same this year: We’ll get some results on election night, but ballots will continue to come in for weeks afterward (the state accepts ballots that arrive as late as Nov. 20). However, a new law allowing mail ballots to be processed earlier hopefully means more results than usual will be ready on election night.

Shift_in_results: [Most counties](https://calmatters.org/politics/post-it/2020/10/california-ballots-counted-first/) report (Democratic-leaning) early and mail votes cast by the weekend before Election Day first, then (Republican-leaning) in-person Election Day votes in the wee hours of Wednesday. But historically, late-arriving mail ballots have [added several points](https://twitter.com/baseballot/status/1070046268897026050?s=20) to Democrats’ margins in the weeks after Election Day.

state: Colorado

Races_to_watch: Senate, 3rd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: We should know the winners here on Nov. 3. Colorado has been voting by mail for years with a rule that ballots must be received (not postmarked!) by Election Day, and the state has never had trouble reporting near-complete results on election night.

Shift_in_results: Given that almost everyone votes by mail in Colorado, there shouldn’t be much of a partisan split by vote method.

state: Connecticut

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: We don’t have a great sense of the timing here — results could come anywhere from election night to a few days later. Initial tallies must be released by midnight Eastern, but these don’t have to be complete. And there could be regional differences in counting speed. A spokesman for the secretary of state told FiveThirtyEight that small towns may be done counting on election night, but larger municipalities probably won’t have final results until at least Wednesday. Some places are even cautioning that they [might need until Monday, Nov. 9](https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/election-results-could-be-delayed-for-days-due-to-high-absentee-ballot-returns/2348041/), to count every vote.

Shift_in_results: Initial returns will include all Election Day results and as much of the absentee vote as has been tabulated so far. If absentee votes are still being counted later in the week, though, it could produce a small blue shift.

state: Delaware

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: We should get near-complete results on election night as usual. Although Delaware has seen a [surge in absentee voting](https://www.delawarepublic.org/post/high-percentage-delawareans-voting-mail-have-sent-their-ballots) this year, officials are expected to report all of those absentees alongside precinct results on Nov. 3.

Shift_in_results: None expected; absentee and in-person votes should be released simultaneously.

state: District of Columbia

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It’s going to take a while. The District is mailing ballots to all voters for the first time this year, and the ones that are mailed back can arrive at election offices as late as Nov. 13 (as long as they’re postmarked by Election Day). While some mail and in-person vote totals will be released on election night, officials say they will [still be counting for weeks after](https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/virginia-maryland-dc-election-results-expected/2020/10/16/9857613c-0ca6-11eb-8a35-237ef1eb2ef7_story.html).

Shift_in_results: Washington, D.C., is strongly Democratic-leaning, so even if there is a blue shift, it will probably go unnoticed.

state: Florida

Races_to_watch: President; 15th, 16th, 18th, 26th and 27th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: [Should be very fast](https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/elections/fl-ne-can-florida-count-its-votes-on-time-20201009-kamw4gahczd63ecezzn2keivyi-story.html). Florida is accustomed to handling a heavy volume of mail ballots and has laws (like letting counties process absentee ballots weeks in advance and not accepting most ballots that arrive after Election Day) that encourage an early count. In other words, results should be nearly complete within a couple hours of polls closing. That said, counties are allowed to take their time if needed, so some larger counties may [still be tabulating mail ballots](https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2020/09/30/thousands-of-florida-ballots-may-not-be-counted-until-after-election-night-and-thats-okay/) on Wednesday or later. That means that if a race is close, we might not know who won on election night.

Shift_in_results: The first batch of results, consisting of early votes and pre-tabulated mail ballots, is due to the secretary of state within 30 minutes of polls closing and will probably be skewed toward Democrats. Expect a red shift as Election Day votes are reported, however. If there are still mail ballots being counted on Wednesday or later, though, that could lead to a late blue shift.

state: Georgia

Races_to_watch: President; Senate (two seats); 6th and 7th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 7 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Should be [relatively quick](https://twitter.com/stphnfwlr/status/1318953652778864644). 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](https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/qa-with-georgias-secretary-state-early-voting-voter-suppression-more/MU2VILDTQVE5VKAW6QMIDUG5GY/). “For the races that are very, very close, we believe that we’ll have them by Wednesday or Thursday at the latest.”

Shift_in_results: Hard to say. Each county treats absentee votes differently, and with (Democratic-leaning) absentee votes being reported at different times throughout the state, it’s possible we’ll see some miniature red and blue shifts on the county level, which may cancel each other out statewide.

state: Hawaii

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: Midnight Eastern

Timing_of_results: Extremely fast. According to state election officials, [about 90 percent](https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/10/in-hawaii-your-ballot-has-to-be-in-by-7-pm-on-election-day-heres-why/) of all votes will be announced immediately after polls close — speed made possible by the fact that ballots are due by Nov. 3 at the latest and can be processed as soon as they arrive. A second batch of ballots is scheduled to be released at 3 a.m. Eastern.

Shift_in_results: Hawaii is pretty Democratic-leaning so it probably won’t matter much, but the second batch of ballots to report on election night will include in-person votes, so it might nudge the margins a bit toward Republicans.

state: Idaho

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 11 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: A bit longer than usual, but still pretty quick. Despite many polling places in the state closing at 10 p.m. Eastern, no results will be posted until the last polls close at 11 p.m. Eastern, and election officials say “meaningful” results will [take a few hours](https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/208/will-idaho-have-results-on-election-night/277-f1e1af82-7fb9-4d5b-a8d7-7fb5440c9ecb). However, counting should be nearly complete by Wednesday morning.

Shift_in_results: Unclear. About half of counties combine absentee votes with Election Day ballots and report them together; the others report them separately, but we don’t know yet if one batch will consistently come out before the other.

state: Illinois

Races_to_watch: 6th, 13th and 14th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most votes should be counted quickly, but the rest will take time. Because absentee ballots can be processed as soon as they arrive, tallies of those received and prepped for counting before Election Day (as well as all in-person votes) should be [released on election night](https://www.lakecountyjournal.com/2020/10/19/election-board-answers-questions-about-vote-by-mail-process/a75bqkw/). However, Illinois’s Nov. 17 deadline for receiving absentee ballots means results will not be complete for around two weeks. [Some counties](https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20201006/why-it-could-take-days-or-weeks-to-know-election-results) are planning to release updated results every day during that time, while others may only update once or twice. Thankfully, the state will report the number of unreturned mail ballots throughout, so we’ll know whether there are enough ballots outstanding to sway the election. So far, officials say that enough absentee voters are returning their ballots early that the election-night results should give us a “[fairly clear picture](https://chicago.suntimes.com/elections/2020/10/23/21530889/illinois-election-early-voting-mail-in-ballots).”

Shift_in_results: Democrats will likely gain as late-arriving absentee ballots are counted Nov. 4-17. A few counties may also see a red shift on election night because they release absentee ballots first, followed by Election Day returns; however, most counties release absentee and precinct returns simultaneously.

state: Indiana

Races_to_watch: President, 5th Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 7 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It’ll probably take a few days. Absentee ballots can’t be processed until Election Day, and [two big counties](https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/22/indiana-election-results-never-official-election-night/5995830002/) (both of which are in the 5th District) say they will only have time to count a fraction of those votes on Tuesday. However, Indiana won’t have as many absentee votes to count as other states, and [other counties](http://www.therepublic.com/2020/10/24/counting_the_votes_local_election_officials_expect_to_have_results_tallied_on_election_night/) say they’ll have no problem reporting full results on election night.

Shift_in_results: The days after Election Day will probably see a blue shift as counties work through their remaining absentee ballots. On election night itself, some counties may see a red shift if absentee votes are reported first and Election Day votes trickle in later. However, most counties combine their absentee and Election Day votes.

state: Iowa

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 1st, 2nd and 3rd congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 10 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most votes will be counted quickly, but some will continue to trickle in after Election Day. Thanks to a new rule allowing for earlier processing of absentee ballots, election officials [are confident](https://dailyiowan.com/2020/10/06/iowa-election-officials-hopeful-for-quick-results-on-election-night/) that ballots received by Election Day will be counted that night, although they are also [leaving open the possibility](https://www.iowapublicradio.org/political-news/2020-10-20/in-iowa-and-nationwide-it-might-take-longer-to-know-who-won-the-election) that the high volume will make that impossible. However, Iowa law also requires officials to count mail ballots that arrive by Nov. 9 (as long they’re postmarked by Nov. 2), so results won’t be final for about a week. The question is how many ballots will arrive at the last minute.

Shift_in_results: Late-arriving mail ballots will probably skew Democratic, producing a blue shift in the days after Nov. 3.

state: Kansas

Races_to_watch: Senate, 2nd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most votes should be counted on election night, but the remainder will take a few days. The state has handled high volumes of advance votes in the past and it tallied results quickly during the primary. However, mail ballots are allowed to arrive as late as Friday and still count, which could make the difference in a close race. Additional vote totals will be announced once per day Nov. 4-6.

Shift_in_results: Most counties release mail votes first (although about one-third intermingle them with Election Day votes), which means initial results may be too good to be true for Democrats. Expect a red shift as election night wears on. However, the mail votes released later in the week may nudge margins back toward Democrats.

state: Kentucky

Races_to_watch: 6th Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 7 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Election officials estimate that unofficial results could be as much as [90 percent complete](https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/lexington/news/2020/10/20/october-absentee-voting-update) on election night. However, absentee ballots can continue arriving until Nov. 6, so the last 10 percent will take some time.

Shift_in_results: Unknown. It’s unclear whether mail or in-person votes will be released first.

state: Louisiana

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It looks like it could be pretty fast, although officials are keeping expectations low. Louisiana is one of only five states that are not allowing everyone to vote by mail, so most votes should be cast in person and thus would likely be totaled at the usual time on election night. Absentee votes should all be counted on Nov. 3 too, but the secretary of state is nevertheless warning [not to expect full results](https://www.ktbs.com/news/increase-in-absentee-ballots-may-push-louisiana-results-past-election-night/article_528edc8c-09c4-11eb-ad5b-3b5ef63971bd.html) that night.

Shift_in_results: Minimal, if any. Absentee and early in-person votes are typically released together as the first “precinct” of the night. However, because not everyone is allowed to vote absentee, it’s not clear if absentee votes will be as Democratic-leaning as they are in other states — plus, they’ll be combined with early votes anyway.

state: Maine

Races_to_watch: President, Senate

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most results should be known on Nov. 3 — but there’s a catch. Maine uses [ranked-choice voting](https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/maine-is-trying-out-a-new-way-to-run-elections-but-will-it-survive-the-night/) for federal offices, and if a candidate fails to win a majority of first-place votes, officials will need to count up voters’ second choices, third choices and so on — a process that takes place days after Election Day. Otherwise, Maine’s recent extension of the absentee-ballot processing period has made [local officials optimistic](https://www.sunjournal.com/2020/10/23/maine-town-and-city-clerks-optimistic-for-timely-election-night-results/) that they will count every ballot on election night, although smaller towns sound surer about that than [larger cities like Portland](https://www.pressherald.com/2020/09/29/absentee-ballots-get-tallied-on-election-day-in-maine/).

Shift_in_results: Maine combines absentee votes with Election Day ones, so there shouldn’t be either a red or blue shift.

state: Maryland

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Complete results will take more than a week. A monthlong head start in processing absentee ballots should help make sure a greater share of the results will be known on election night than were initially released in the snail’s-pace primary — but absentee ballots aren’t due until Nov. 13, so the state will continue to count and update the vote totals for at least 10 days after Election Day.

Shift_in_results: On [election night](https://patch.com/maryland/baltimore/md-election-results-what-expect-election-night-2020), Maryland will release counts of early votes, mail votes that have already been tallied, and then Election Day votes. Then, the remaining mail ballots will be counted over the next 10 days. As a result, Maryland could see a blue shift followed by a red shift on election night, then a slow-motion blue shift in the following days.

state: Massachusetts

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most votes will be counted on Nov. 3; the remainder will be tallied over the weekend. With election officials allowed to process mail ballots earlier than usual, mail ballots received by Nov. 3 will be [counted at the same time](https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/what-to-expect-on-election-night-in-massachusetts/2219119/) as in-person votes. Mail ballots received Nov. 4-6, however, will not be counted until after 5 p.m. on Nov. 6. Most cities and towns will count those ballots between Nov. 6 and Nov. 9.

Shift_in_results: It’s unclear whether mail or in-person votes will be released first on election night, but the final vote update over the weekend should consist purely of late-arriving mail ballots, so it’ll likely be good for Democrats.

state: Michigan

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It’s going to take a few days. The earliest absentee ballots can be processed is Nov. 2, which likely does not leave enough time to count them all by election night. The secretary of state [estimates that it could take until Friday, Nov. 6](https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/06/michigan-early-mail-ballot-processing-426809), for all ballots to be counted and a winner to be declared.

Shift_in_results: Margins will probably shift toward Democrats in the days after Nov. 3 as mail votes are added to the results.

state: Minnesota

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 1st, 2nd, 7th and 8th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most, but not all, results should be in on election night. With [two weeks](https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/10/26/minnesota-ballot-count-is-on-but-for-how-long) of advance absentee-ballot processing, votes in the state’s possession should be [quickly tallied](https://minnesotareformer.com/2020/09/21/some-states-wont-start-counting-votes-until-election-night-including-minnesota/) on Nov. 3. The secretary of state [has warned](https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2020-10-27/civic-engagement/mn-results-expected-on-election-night-but-some-contests-could-linger/a71926-1) that close races may take a while to call, but “it’s far more likely that we’ll have winners, outcomes either on election night or shortly thereafter.”

Shift_in_results: Any absentee votes counted after Election Day could cause results to shift in Democrats’ favor.

state: Mississippi

Races_to_watch: President, Senate

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: We should know most results on Nov. 3. Since Mississippi still requires people to have an excuse to vote absentee, there won’t be a lot of absentee ballots to count, and election night should look pretty normal. However, it will take some time to count all the absentee ballots that are submitted: They can arrive as late as Nov. 10, and even the ones that arrive early can’t be processed before Nov. 3.

Shift_in_results: Probably none worth writing home about. Absentee and precinct votes are typically combined and released together on election night, and the number of late-arriving absentee ballots will likely be very small.

state: Missouri

Races_to_watch: President, 2nd Congressional District, governor

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Should be pretty fast. [Election officials](https://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2020/oct/25/mid-missouri-county-clerks-no-delays-expected-election-night/846605/) are [confident](https://kwos.com/2020/10/ashcroft-is-ready-for-election-night/) that near-complete returns will be released on election night.

Shift_in_results: There will probably be a red shift. Most counties release (Democratic-leaning) mail and absentee ballots first, followed by (Republican-leaning) Election Day votes later in the evening.

state: Montana

Races_to_watch: President, Senate, House, governor

Last_polls_close: 10 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: We shouldn’t have to wait long. Montana is accustomed to lots of people voting by mail and is expected to count nearly all absentee ballots on Election Day.

Shift_in_results: Counties vary in whether they release mail or in-person votes first, or release both together, so it’s hard to know if there will be either a red or blue shift.

state: Nebraska

Races_to_watch: President (in 2nd Congressional District), 2nd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Should be quick. Nebraska (where several counties vote by mail even in normal elections) allows absentee ballots to be counted early and requires regular absentee ballots to arrive by Election Day. As a result, “the results will be known in Nebraska on election night,” [the secretary of state says](https://www.3newsnow.com/news/investigations/how-late-is-too-late-to-mail-your-ballot).

Shift_in_results: The first results reported in most counties will be [early votes](http://www.hastingstribune.com/early-voting-return-rate-at-nearly-82-in-adams-county/article_5fb16aaa-188e-11eb-aa85-73709f05049a.html), cast both in person and by mail. Election Day results will follow, potentially shifting the margins toward Republicans.

state: Nevada

Races_to_watch: President, 3rd and 4th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 10 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Hard to say. Nevada is one of a handful of states that is mailing a ballot to every active registered voter for the first time, and it is only requiring that ballots be mailed back by Nov. 3, not received by then. In other states, that’s been a recipe for slow results; indeed, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state [told Politico](https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/12/biden-trump-2020-election-night-428856) not to wait up for a call on election night. However, the ability to count mail ballots early has put [Clark County](https://lasvegassun.com/news/2020/oct/24/how-mail-ballots-are-counted-in-clark-county/) (home to 71 percent of the state’s voters) in position to report tallies of in-person votes and any mail ballots received by Nov. 2 on election night. If that happens, we might get most results on election night, though we’ll still have to wait until at least Nov. 10, when the state stops accepting mailed ballots, for full results.

Shift_in_results: In other states, late-arriving mail ballots have historically trended Democratic, so don’t rule out a blue shift in the week after Election Day.

state: New Hampshire

Races_to_watch: President, 1st Congressional District, governor

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Election night seems like a safe bet. Absentee voting is up in New Hampshire this year, but the vast majority of New Hampshire’s votes are expected to be cast in person, so results should be more or less complete on Nov. 3. “It might take a little bit longer than we’re normally used to, but they will be released by the end of the night,” the deputy secretary of state [told the Granite State News Collaborative](https://www.concordmonitor.com/Election-2020-Will-NH-know-the-results-on-election-night-State-official-expert-say-yes-36986800).

Shift_in_results: Absentee votes are reported together with Election Day results, so there will be no red or blue shift driven by vote method.

state: New Jersey

Races_to_watch: 2nd, 3rd and 7th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It’s going to take weeks. While counties should release the first tranche of mail ballots on election night, they are allowed to stop counting at 11 p.m. Eastern and pick up again at 9 a.m. the following day. The state will continue counting mail ballots through at least Nov. 10, the deadline by which properly postmarked ballots must be received. [Only then](https://www.nj.com/politics/2020/10/if-you-vote-in-person-on-election-day-your-vote-probably-wont-be-counted-until-nov-10-heres-why.html) will they begin to count in-person votes, which in New Jersey will all be provisional ballots — meaning they must be checked to make sure the voter is eligible (i.e., didn’t already vote by mail) before they can be counted. With a healthy proportion of New Jerseyans expected to vote in person, we might not be able to call any competitive races until these ballots are counted. The [ultimate deadline](https://www.njspotlight.com/2020/10/keep-track-of-the-momail-in-voting-drop-boxes-polling-places-deadlines-make-sure-your-vote-counts/) for counties to certify results is Nov. 20.

Shift_in_results: Votes counted Nov. 3-10 will be entirely mail ballots, so they may skew Democratic. The state may experience a red shift as in-person votes are tallied after that.

state: New Mexico

Races_to_watch: Senate, 2nd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most results should be known on election night, but there will be some lingering ballots the next day. Counties are required to [stop counting absentee ballots](https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/election-officials-say-some-results-could-take-days/5907596/) at 1 a.m. Eastern time and resume on Wednesday morning. The [secretary of state says](https://nmpoliticalreport.com/2020/09/21/secretary-of-state-talks-voting-by-mail-in-new-mexico/) the goal is to publish the “vast majority” of results on election night, but “there will, undoubtedly, be some more votes to be counted and included in the subsequent day or days.”

Shift_in_results: Early votes and some absentee ballots will probably be among the first reported, which could mean margins shift toward Republicans as the night progresses and Election Day votes are tallied. But if more absentee votes are left to count on Wednesday or later, things could move back in Democrats’ direction.

state: New York

Races_to_watch: 1st, 2nd, 11th, 19th, 21st, 22nd and 24th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Get ready to wait. While in-person votes (both those cast early and on Election Day) should be released on election night, the state will not even begin to count absentee ballots until Nov. 6. And that process can be time-consuming: Each absentee must be double-checked to ensure that its voter did not also vote in person. We could be in for a repeat of the June primary, when it [took several weeks](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/nyregion/nyc-mail-ballots-voting.html) to get final results: The statutory deadline for certifying results is Nov. 28, but the New York City Board of Elections says it may not be done counting [until Dec. 8-15](https://www.gothamgazette.com/city/9788-when-to-expect-2020-new-york-election-results-city-state-differ).

Shift_in_results: Initial results (from in-person votes) will probably skew Republican. As absentee ballots are counted in the ensuing weeks, Democratic candidates will probably gain ground.

state: North Carolina

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 1st, 8th, 9th and 11th congressional districts; governor

Last_polls_close: 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Initial results will come very fast, but the rest will take time. Election officials estimate that up to [80 percent](https://twitter.com/JoeBrunoWSOC9/status/1318639589511335937) of the total vote could be announced right after polls close at 7:30 p.m., including in-person early votes and all mail ballots [received by Nov. 2](https://www.wral.com/when-is-your-mail-in-ballot-actually-counted-that-depends-officials-say/19264729/). Election Day returns will then trickle out over the course of the next several hours (those results are expected to [take longer than usual](https://twitter.com/JoeBrunoWSOC9/status/1318645758799872002?s=20) because equipment must be sanitized after polling places close). However, North Carolina counts absentee ballots that arrive as late as Nov. 12, so there will definitely be some counting for at least nine days after Election Day. The question is whether there will be enough late-arriving ballots to keep any races uncalled.

Shift_in_results: The first dump of results (which will be entirely mail and early votes) will probably be too good to be true for Democrats. A red shift will likely occur as Election Day votes are reported. However, late-arriving mail ballots may help Democrats claw their way back during the Nov. 4-12 count.

state: North Dakota

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Expect timely, but not final, results on election night. The state has given officials [extra time before Election Day](https://www.kxnet.com/news/local-news/gov-burgum-signs-executive-order-to-ensure-election-integrity-timely-results-for-absentee-ballots/) to process absentee ballots, which they predict will help avoid delays. However, tabulation won’t be complete until Nov. 9, which is the last day ballots can arrive and still be counted.

Shift_in_results: Late-arriving absentee ballots may help Democrats close the gap in the week after Election Day.

state: Ohio

Races_to_watch: President; 1st, 10th and 12th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most results will be announced quickly, but we’ll have to wait for the rest. By 8 p.m. Eastern, each county is [required to announce](https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/ohio-secretary-of-state-announces-post-election-results-schedule) the results of all absentee ballots (including early in-person votes) that were received by Election Day. Results from Election Day polling places will then follow throughout the night. However, Ohio also counts absentee ballots that arrive by mail until Nov. 13 — but counties will not announce those results until their official canvasses on Nov. 14-18 (interim results will not be reported). That said, counties will report the number of outstanding absentee ballots late on election night, so we will know whether there are enough ballots remaining to affect the winner of the election.

Shift_in_results: The first results on election night (absentee ballots) will probably skew Democratic. Then, we’ll probably see a red shift as Republican-leaning Election Day votes are counted. Finally, the last vote dump on Nov. 14-18 (more absentee ballots) could benefit Democrats.

state: Oklahoma

Races_to_watch: 5th Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Promptly on election night. Regular absentee ballots are due by Election Day and can be counted ahead of time — and the state isn’t expecting an overwhelming number of them anyway. Therefore, election officials told FiveThirtyEight they plan to have unofficial results ready on the night of Nov. 3.

Shift_in_results: Early votes are usually the first to report, so initial votes may be fairly representative. Mail and Election Day results then follow, potentially producing a blue and red shift, respectively.

state: Oregon

Races_to_watch: 4th Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 11 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It’ll be a normal election night in Oregon, which has voted by mail in every election since 2000. Unlike some other vote-by-mail states, Oregon doesn’t accept ballots that arrive after Election Day, enabling it to have virtually all votes counted on election night.

Shift_in_results: Because almost everyone votes by mail in Oregon, there won’t be either a red or blue shift.

state: Pennsylvania

Races_to_watch: President; 1st, 8th, 10th and 17th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It’ll be slow going. Although around half of Pennsylvanians are expected to vote absentee, those ballots can’t start being processed until 7 a.m. on Nov. 3. Simply put, that’s not enough time for many counties to count them all before the day is over. (For example, Bucks County plans to count ballots [24 hours a day](https://fusion.inquirer.com/politics/election/counting-pennsylvania-mail-ballots-philadelphia-suburbs-20200918.html) and still doesn’t expect to be done until the end of the week.) Some places aren’t even going to try; [Cumberland and Erie counties](https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/28/politics/early-voting-ballot-count-pennsylvania-2020/index.html), for instance, say they won’t count absentee ballots until they’re done with Election Day votes, which could be as late as Wednesday morning. And even counties that manage to count all the ballots in their possession on election night will have to wait until Nov. 6 — the deadline for most mail ballots to arrive — to consider their results complete. Overall, election officials estimate that “[the overwhelming majority](https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/spl/pa-kathy-boockvar-precanvassing-republicans-gov-tom-wolf-20201019.html)” of votes will be counted by Friday. That said, don’t rule out an even longer wait. During the June primary, about half of counties were [still counting](https://www.publicsource.org/pa-election-expectations-voting-vote-count-delay/) a week after the election. No matter what, we’ll definitely know the outcome by Nov. 23 — the deadline for counties to stop counting.

Shift_in_results: Election-night results are expected to be disproportionately made up of Election Day votes, which will probably skew Republican. Then, as absentee ballots are counted in the ensuing days, the state will [probably experience a blue shift](https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-pennsylvanias-vote-count-could-change-after-election-night/).

state: Rhode Island

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most, but not all, results will be known on election night. In the past, the state has waited until all mail ballots were counted and then released them all at once (usually a few days after the election), but this year they will release the first batch of mail ballots (those already in their possession; at least three-quarters of the total mail vote) [at 11 p.m. on Nov. 3](https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/2020/10/26/ri-begin-releasing-mail-ballot-results-election-night/6040416002/). The second batch, consisting of ballots left in drop boxes on Election Day, will be released sometime after close of business on Wednesday. Provisional ballots will be added on Thursday, and results will be finalized on Nov. 10, which is the deadline for mail voters who made mistakes to fix their ballots and for receiving ballots mailed from overseas.

Shift_in_results: Republicans will probably punch above their weight in the early evening, when Election Day votes are the only results we’ll have. However, Democrats should gain at 11 p.m. with the release of all those mail ballots, and with each subsequent vote drop as well.

state: South Carolina

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 1st and 2nd congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 7 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Should be quick. A relatively small share of South Carolina voters will cast absentee ballots, and election officials can start processing those ballots Nov. 1 and counting them at 7 a.m. on Election Day. As a result, the state election commission is [expecting full results](https://www.wistv.com/2020/10/28/south-carolina-should-know-by-election-night-or-next-day-results-races/) on election night or, at worst, the day after.

Shift_in_results: Absentee ballots are all or part of the first report in most counties, so initial returns could be overly friendly to Democrats. There could be a red shift as precinct votes are tallied.

state: South Dakota

Races_to_watch: President

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most results will be ready on election night, with the likely exception of one county. Although polls in much of the state close at 8 p.m. Eastern, no results will be released until 9 p.m. Eastern, when the last of the polls close. The secretary of state says he’s [confident that most votes will be counted on election night](https://mitchellnow.com/news/236632-sd-secretary-of-state-hopeful-that-state-results-will-be-totaled-on-election-night/) itself, but officials in the state’s largest county say to expect a “[two-day deal](https://www.keloland.com/news/capitol-news-bureau/minnehaha-county-auditor-has-made-changes-as-absentee-ballots-keep-rolling-in-amid-covid/).” (Translation: They plan to let workers go home for the night and finish counting on Wednesday.)

Shift_in_results: Absentee ballots are merged with other votes from their home precincts, lowering the possibility for a red or blue shift over time.

state: Tennessee

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 8 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Should be pretty fast. We’re expecting almost all absentee ballots to be counted on election night, along with the usual complement of in-person votes. [Election officials predict](https://twitter.com/sectrehargett/status/1321115164041760769) that most counties, including the state’s [two largest](https://www.fox13memphis.com/news/local/three-new-ballot-scanners-should-help-speed-up-absentee-ballot-counting-election-night/7MRYR3S3MZEMZNC2RCPQ336G2I/), will wrap up their tabulation [by midnight](https://tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/27/tennessee-elections-staff-mail-absentee-ballots-security-election-day-preparations/3744003001/).

Shift_in_results: Most counties release absentee votes first, which could lead to a red shift later in the evening. Others, however, intermingle absentee and polling-place votes.

state: Texas

Races_to_watch: President; Senate; 3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 31st and 32nd congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: The bulk of the results will be known on election night. Early votes, Election Day votes and (thanks to a generous ballot-processing window) absentee ballots received by 7 p.m. local time on Nov. 3 will all be counted that night, which should give us a pretty clear picture of the state of the races there. However, domestic absentee ballots are allowed to arrive as late as 5 p.m. local time on Wednesday, which could add a fair number of ballots to the hopper.

Shift_in_results: In most counties, absentee and early in-person votes are the first to report; these could be disproportionately good for Democrats. When Election Day votes are reported, expect Republicans to gain. Finally, absentee ballots that arrive on Wednesday could give Democrats a small boost.

state: Utah

Races_to_watch: 4th Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 10 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Get comfortable; it’ll be a while. Even under normal circumstances, Utah is one of the states where we have to wait the longest to get results (in 2018, the 4th District race dragged on for [two weeks](https://twitter.com/AP_Politics/status/1065033426506522624?s=20)). That’s because counties accept (properly postmarked) mail ballots that arrive at any time before the county canvass, which can be as long as two weeks after Election Day. Therefore, don’t expect complete results here until at least Nov. 17.

Shift_in_results: In other states, late-arriving mail ballots tend to favor Democrats; however, that hasn’t always been the case in Utah.

state: Vermont

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 7 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Shouldn’t be a delay. Although Vermont has morphed into a vote-by-mail state this year, it also gave clerks far more time to process those mail ballots and mandated that they arrive by Election Day. As a result, the secretary of state [anticipates that results will come out on election night](https://www.timesargus.com/news/local/condos-no-delay-expected-for-unofficial-election-results/article_48012ca6-c5cc-51e5-abd6-80d5768703b0.html) as normal.

Shift_in_results: Absentee votes are reported together with Election Day votes, so the order in which ballots are counted shouldn’t produce either a red or blue shift.

state: Virginia

Races_to_watch: 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th congressional districts

Last_polls_close: 7 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most votes should be counted on election night, but the rest will take a few days. Since localities can process absentee ballots as soon as they receive them, officials should be able to promptly report all or most ballots that arrive before Nov. 3. However, a fair number of mail ballots may arrive between Nov. 3 and the state’s receipt deadline of Nov. 6, and they can’t be fully counted until the end of the week. One county even says [it may need the weekend](https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/virginia-maryland-dc-election-results-expected/2020/10/16/9857613c-0ca6-11eb-8a35-237ef1eb2ef7_story.html) to add those ballots to its tally.

Shift_in_results: Late-arriving absentee ballots could shift margins toward Democrats in the days after Nov. 3.

state: Washington

Races_to_watch: 3rd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 11 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Get ready to wait. Even before the pandemic, we’ve become accustomed to delayed results in this vote-by-mail state where ballots are allowed to arrive as late as Nov. 23. We’ll get a few initial vote dumps on election night itself, but the many ballots that arrive on Nov. 3 or later [will not be counted](https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/elections/it-could-take-weeks-to-finalize-elections-results/281-1069ef70-24f0-4cd5-ac0f-0ffc1bf04420) until later. After Election Day, counties must release updated vote totals at the end of each day.

Shift_in_results: Although almost everyone in Washington votes by mail, late-arriving ballots can favor Democrats; if that happens again this year, the party could improve its margins in the days after Election Day.

state: West Virginia

Races_to_watch: Governor

Last_polls_close: 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: Most ballots should be counted quickly, but some will come in the following week. A spokeswoman for the secretary of state told FiveThirtyEight that the state would report unofficial results on the usual schedule on election night. However, West Virginia accepts absentee ballots that arrive up to Nov. 9, and none of these late-arriving votes will be counted until the last day of that window. So if there are any uncalled races on election night, we’ll have to wait almost a week to resolve them.

Shift_in_results: Most counties combine absentee votes with Election Day ones, so there shouldn’t be a red or blue shift.

state: Wisconsin

Races_to_watch: President, 3rd Congressional District

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: It may take all night, but we should have all results by Wednesday morning. Despite not being able to [process absentee ballots](https://www.dailycardinal.com/article/2020/10/what-to-expect-on-election-night-in-wisconsin) until Election Day (which originally [stoked fears](https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/17/wisconsin-likely-wont-have-presidential-results-election-night/5819265002/) of a delayed count), [many counties say](https://www.tmj4.com/news/election-2020/when-each-se-wisconsin-county-clerk-expects-to-have-all-votes-counted-election-night) they will be able to count everything on election night: Washington County plans to have all results by 10:30 p.m. Eastern; Kenosha, Sheboygan and Fond du Lac by 1 a.m. Eastern; Waukesha County by 4 a.m. Eastern; and [Milwaukee County](https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/online-and-by-mail-voter-registration-deadline-is-wednesday/article_28ca3b2d-1c67-5c6b-868c-ab82baae4271.html) sometime between 4 and 7 a.m. Eastern. The governor has predicted that [we will know the outcome of the election](https://pbswisconsin.org/news-item/evers-calls-for-gop-legislative-action-on-covid/) “hopefully that night and maybe at the latest the very next day.”

Shift_in_results: Most municipalities count absentee and Election Day votes together, but others — [including Milwaukee](https://elections.wi.gov/clerks/guidance/central-count-absentee) — count them separately and may release absentee votes all at once toward the end of the night, which could nudge races toward Democrats.

state: Wyoming

Races_to_watch: No major races

Last_polls_close: 9 p.m. Eastern

Timing_of_results: [Should be speedy](https://www.kpvi.com/news/regional_news/secretary-of-state-voter-spread-misinformation-biggest-threat-to-election-in-wyoming/article_404cd865-48b7-5736-9965-40af32af3d61.html). Having been given extra time to process absentee ballots, clerks are expected to tally nearly all votes on election night itself.

Shift_in_results: Most counties combine absentee votes with precinct results, decreasing the likelihood that things will shift toward one party or another as the night wears on.

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Metadata

title: When Do Polls Close? When Should We Expect Election Results?

description: A guide to poll closing times on Election Day 2020, major Senate, House and governors’ races to watch, how long vote counting will take, and when election results are expected in all 50 states.

twitter text: When do polls close? When should we expect 2020 election results in every state?

url slug: election-results-timing

primary tag: Politics

news tags: Election 2020, Voting, Vote By Mail, Mail Voting, Absentee Voting, Early Voting, COVID-19, Coronavirus

 

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