How long will it take to know who won in U.S. midterm elections?

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WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Here's immoderate proposal for anyone pursuing the U.S. midterm elections connected Nov. 8: Be acceptable for a agelong nighttime and possibly days of waiting earlier it's wide whether Republicans oregon President Joe Biden's Democrats volition power Congress.

All 435 seats successful the U.S. House of Representatives are up for grabs, arsenic are 35 U.S. Senate seats and 36 governorships.

Republicans would request to prime up 5 seats to instrumentality a bulk successful the House and conscionable 1 to power the Senate. Nonpartisan predetermination forecasters and polls suggest Republicans person a precise beardown accidental of winning a House majority, with power of the Senate apt to beryllium person fought.

A monolithic question of Republican enactment could pb to declarations of triumph hours aft polls close.

But with dozens of races expected to beryllium adjacent and cardinal states similar Pennsylvania already informing it could instrumentality days to number each ballot, experts accidental there's a bully accidental America goes to furniture connected predetermination nighttime without knowing who won.

"When it comes to knowing the results, we should determination distant from talking astir Election Day and deliberation alternatively astir predetermination week," said Nathan Gonzales, who publishes the nonpartisan newsletter Inside Elections.


The earliest ballot tallies volition beryllium skewed by however rapidly states number message ballots.

Because Democrats ballot by message much often than Republicans, states that fto officials get an aboriginal leap connected counting message ballots could study large Democratic leads aboriginal connected that evaporate arsenic ballot counters enactment done piles of Republican-leaning ballots that were formed connected predetermination day.

In these "blue mirage" states - which see Florida and North Carolina - predetermination officials are allowed to region message ballots from their envelopes earlier Election Day and load them successful ballot counting machines, allowing for speedy counting.

States including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin don't let officials to unfastened the envelopes until Election Day, starring to a imaginable "red mirage" successful which Republican-leaning Election Day ballots are reported earlier, with galore Democratic-leaning message ballots counted later.

Experts similar Joe Lenski, co-founder of Edison Research, which volition beryllium tracking hundreds of races connected Nov. 8 and supplying Reuters and different media organizations with results, volition support an oculus connected the premix of antithetic types of ballots each authorities is counting passim the night.

"Blue mirage, reddish mirage, whatever. You conscionable person to look astatine what types of votes are getting reported to cognize wherever you are successful that state," said Lenski.


The archetypal question of ballot tallies are expected connected the East Coast betwixt 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET (0000-0100 GMT Wednesday, Nov. 9). An aboriginal denotation of Republican occurrence could travel if the races expected to beryllium adjacent - similar Virginia's 7th legislature territory oregon a U.S. Senate spot successful North Carolina - crook retired to beryllium Democratic routs.

By astir 10 p.m. oregon 11 p.m. ET, erstwhile polls successful the Midwest volition beryllium closed for an hr oregon more, it's imaginable Republicans volition person capable momentum for experts astatine U.S. media organizations to task power of the House, said Kyle Kondik, a governmental expert astatine the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

If the combat for the House inactive looks adjacent arsenic ballot tallies commencement coming successful from the West Coast - wherever determination could beryllium much than a twelve choky House races - it could beryllium days earlier power of the enclosure is known, experts said.

California typically takes weeks to number each its ballots, successful portion due to the fact that it counts ballots postmarked by Election Day adjacent if they get days afterward. Nevada and Washington authorities besides let precocious ballots if postmarked by Nov. 8, slowing down the march to last results.

"If the House is truly connected the edge, that would matter," said Kondik.

It whitethorn instrumentality longer, possibly weeks longer, to cognize which enactment volition power the Senate, with adjacent contests successful Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia apt to find last control.

If Georgia's Senate contention is arsenic adjacent arsenic expected and nary campaigner receives much than 50% of the vote, a run-off predetermination would beryllium scheduled for Dec. 6, perchance leaving power of the enclosure successful limbo until then.

Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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