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US election results could change everything this year, as Donald Trump hopes to secure a second term amid a furious backlash against his COVID-19 policy. He has also attracted ire for his comments on the voting process by claiming the postal ballot poses a fraud risk. Officials have also raised concerns the President may attempt to claim an election win before results emerge, as the counting process may take much longer.
How long will US election results take?
The 2020 election will rely heavily on postal ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They will prove vital in avoiding long lines at ballot stations and preventing transmission of the disease.
Experts have dismissed claims the ballots will allow fraud or interference by foreign powers as the President claims, but they may still prolong the result.
During an average election, people might expect results during the evening or the following morning.
But in 2020, the results depend on postal ballots, and experts expect up to 80 million people will utilise them.
The unprecedented volume and recent cutbacks in the United States Postal Service (USPS) have triggered fears they could take some time to declare.
Officials may not declare final results until weeks after November 3.
Pundits have raised concerns President Trump may try to take advantage of the extended timeline and declare results early.
The slow-burn of result declaration may show a win for the incumbent by the next morning, but would likely signal a tiny portion of the vote.
People worry he may use this as an opportunity to claim a premature victory and subvert the course of democracy.
Facebook, which many Americans use as a source for their news, said it would do what it could to prevent attempts to swindle voters.
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Posting on the platform, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company would work to “reduce the chances of violence and unrest”.
He said: “This election is not going to be business as usual. We all have a responsibility to protect our democracy.
“That means helping people register and vote, clearing up confusion about how this election will work, and taking steps to reduce the chances of violence and unrest.”
Mr Trump has previously declared the only way Democrats could win this year is “if this is a rigged election”, which has led his rivals to prepare for a potential legal battle.
He has previously encouraged people to vote by mail and then again in person on the day, a federal offence in most states.
As such, Democrat nominee Joe Biden has prepared a legal team to ensure the election runs as intended.
Dana Remus, the Biden campaign general counsel, said legions of volunteers would help the election go “smoothly”.
She said: “We can and will be able to hold a free and fair election this November and we’re putting in place an unprecedented voter protection effort with thousands of lawyers and volunteers around the country to ensure that voting goes smoothly.”
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