Statewide election results in Maryland have been delayed, in part due to long lines in Calvert County. Voters who are in line at 8 p.m., when the polls technically close, are allowed to vote. Here’s what we are seeing thus far, and what we might see as the night goes on.
After 8 p.m.
Polls closed in Maryland at 8 p.m., but any voters in line at that time are allowed to vote. Lines could look longer in this election because of social distancing. Just after 8 p.m., Calvert County officials said it would take two hours to check in all voters who were in line at that time, elections administrator Kristen Scott said in an email.
Meanwhile, nationally: Polls close in the key states of Pennsylvania and Texas. The last polls in Florida, in the Panhandle, close at 8 p.m. North Carolina won’t publicly report any statewide results until 8:15 p.m., after allowing four polling places to stay open longer.
After 9 p.m.
Since it often takes at least 90 minutes after the polls close for all Maryland voters to cast their Election Day ballots, we’re not likely to see any returns until some time in the 9 o’clock hour.
Once that happens, the State Elections Board will release returns from the eight days of early voting, plus the tabulation of votes counted so far from mail-in ballots. The Baltimore Sun will be posting returns here as they come in. Some local jurisdictions that have completed the voting process started releasing some results for local races around 9:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, nationally: Polls close in the key states of Arizona and Wisconsin.
After 10 p.m.
This is often the hour when candidates begin to claim victory. That is particularly true in congressional contests in which incumbents don’t face serious challenges, or in races in jurisdictions in which one party has an overwhelming voter registration advantage over another, such as Baltimore City.
However, because of the volume of mail-in ballots, candidates may hold back this year in order to avoid a premature claim of victory.
Meanwhile, nationally: Polls close in the key states of Iowa and Nevada.
After 11 p.m.
More candidates' victory speeches are anticipated. The festive election night party celebrations — with balloons, bands and booze — have been limited because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, nationally: Polls close in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Into the night and beyond
It will likely be days before the official election results are available, perhaps around Nov. 13, which is the date that local boards of elections in Maryland usually certify their results. Mail-in ballots must be received by that date to be counted.
“But we do expect that some of the local boards will still be counting in the following week,” said Nikki Charlson, the election board’s deputy administrator. “The two most common reasons why ballots are rejected is that they’re either late, or the voter didn’t sign the oath."
Baltimore Sun reporters Christina Tkacik and Emily Opilo contributed to this article