How Long After Election Day Are Ballots Counted (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 1 day

An election is a very sensitive and responsible work to carry out. Starting from the announcement to the successful voting by the citizens, and ending on a good note with the completion of counting of ballots. These all need to be done in a very strategic and spontaneous way. Any bizarre situation must not arise in between the process.

Although, above all the mentioned timelines, it is election day, which is very important. It is taken care that safe and unbiased voting is performed by all the voters. No one must get influenced by someone and vote for the representative. Hence, it carries a lot of responsibilities. And, counting ballots and coming out with the result, requires the same amount of tense and sincerity.

How Long After Election Day Are Ballots Counted?

Normal Counting Days4-5 days
Total Number Of Voters240 million

Ballots are the papers on which the voters stamp on the representative they want to choose by the voting process. This voting process is done with too much secrecy and no one else can know whom he or she votes for. And, once this voting process gets completed, all the ballot boxes, which contain the ballot papers are taken to the higher custody for the counting process. This whole process is the pre-vote counting process.

Although, in some of the articles and other places it is mentioned that, the counting process starts on the voting day itself. But it is not the correct answer. The counting of the ballot paper starts one night after the voting day. When the ballot box reaches the higher custody, it is kept safe and out of anyone’s reach. The next day the counting officials come to the counting house and the counting process starts.

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Some of the reports may get published, depicting who is winning the election before the commencement of the counting of the ballot. But they are just the exaggerated and approximated stats provided by the exit poll opinions. They sometimes also come out to be true, but not every time. And, the exact and proper result comes out after the ballot paper counting, which initiates after a night of the voting.

With modern problems arises modern solutions. In the same way, people who stay abroad or have some problem in coming to the ballot box to vote can also provide their opinion. They are allowed to provide their opinion by the postal ballot. This gets mailed to the high commissioner after it is completed.

Why Are Ballots Counted So Long After Election Day?

It is not a playful job to handle all this important work and get it done without any fuss. The future of the nation lays on this proper commencing of the work. Hence, it takes some time and patience to get the best out of it. Therefore, the counting of the ballot papers starts after the night of the voting day.

A stressful job like this requires educated and experienced people to handle it. The election commissioner itself guides the whole process distinctively and makes everything fall into the proper place. With millions and millions of ballot papers and with almost every ballot paper having a different opinion, it is too hard to recognize every choice hurriedly. Hence, the officers take their suitable time but come out having nothing nasty in the decisions.

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With the introduction of the postal ballots, it has become a little more difficult to have the work done more rapidly. The postal ballots come from different parts of the globe and to maintain their sanctity and make sure they are not tampered it takes a little more time than the normal ones. But this also helps everyone to choose their representative who can work for the betterment of the population without any criticality.

However, with new technicalities, nowadays, the counting of the votes is now being done a little easier. Now the ballot papers are also being counted with the machines which are coming out with effective results in a relatively lesser time, which helps a lot. But every time believing in the machines is not a great decision, as they can come up with some technical glitches. Anyway, these are the reasons why it takes this long to count the ballots after the election.

Conclusion

Turning out to be a historic number, almost 240 million of the population voted in the 2020 presidential election. And imagining this much amount of ballots papers to be counted seems like climbing Mount Everest. It is randomly correct that thoroughly it would take some days to come out with the results. And, the officials never get into a hurry.

In the past, the counting of the ballot papers used to take even more time than now. But the modern techniques have made it a lot easier, and getting the decision of more than millions of people has become a lot easier to handle.

Reference

  1. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/elj.2009.0046
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1065912908324870
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