Tabulating Results Past Election Night Is Normal
All the votes need to be counted, and it’s not unusual for different batches of ballots to suggest very different potential outcomes that can influence short-term sentiment.
We didn’t see a clear presidential winner on election day this year. That doesn’t mean the U.S. political system or processes are broken--rather that the high volume of mail-in ballots might make it difficult to tabulate the results as quickly and exit polling will not be nearly as useful.
Final tallies could change a lot after election day. For example, on election night in 2018, California had not counted millions of ballots, and as they came in, the composition of Congress changed considerably. This is normal.
Here’s What You Can Expect:
Not a Typical Election, But Not Unprecedented Either
Because of the volume of mail-in votes, we expect there might be new concerns raised about the certainty of a result. Each state has its own protocol for counting ballots and for ordering a recount if results are close. All the votes need to be counted, and it’s not unusual for different batches of ballots to suggest very different potential outcomes that can influence short term sentiment.
It’s important to remember that processing and counting mail-in votes after the polls close are part of every election cycle. For some states, like Oregon, which sends every registered voter a ballot in the mail, it’s a routine part of ballot counting.
With two exceptions--1876 and 2000--U.S. elections have had a clear winner relatively quickly, and that could also happen this time. If recounts are required, or results in a particular state are challenged in court, we will be ready to explain the process and milestones for investors. Ultimately, there are processes for the states and Congress to decide the next president by Jan. 20.
The Supreme Court does not typically review elections, as it is not the election certifying body of the U.S.