Simply over one week earlier than Election Day, over 60 million Individuals have already solid early votes. That dwarfs 2016’s whole early voting complete of 47.2 million, and the quantity goes to continue to grow considerably this week.

“That is excellent news!” wrote Michael McDonald, the College of Florida professor who heads up the US Election Undertaking, which tracks early voting nationally. “There have been many considerations about election officers’ means to conduct an election throughout a pandemic. Not solely are folks voting, however they’re voting over an extended time frame, thereby spreading out the workload of election officers.”

At a time when there may be a lot worry, uncertainty, and doubt about American elections (and plenty of it unwarranted), it’s essential to highlight that “frankly, it’s going effectively,” as Benjamin Hovland, chairman of the Electoral Help Fee, told me last week.

“We see a chance for political actors each home and overseas to opportunistically choose projections, knowledge, or circumstances they will use to amplify confusion, to sow doubt.”

Kate Starbird, Election Integrity Partnership

However what concerning the day itself? What do you have to be ready for over the hours, days and weeks after November 3?

“We’re anticipating a multitude,” says Kate Starbird, a disaster informatics researcher on the College of Washington and one of many lead researchers on the Election Integrity Partnership.

“My plan for Election Day is to start out the day very early with a number of espresso,” says Eddie Perez, an election knowledgeable on the Open Supply Election Know-how Institute, “and to be ready to not fall asleep for twenty-four hours or way more.”

What’s going to occur

November 3 could start with lengthy strains, and it’ll most likely finish with uncommon quantities of uncertainty. 

On Monday, Starbird printed a report zeroing in on the precise kind of “uncertainty and misinformation” specialists anticipate on Election Day, that night, and going ahead. 

They’re prepared for social media to be full of photographs and movies of lengthy strains, complicated ballots, or malfunctioning voting machines—the kinds of issues that happen each time America votes. However this time round, these items of data will doubtless be used to push particular slanted narratives at a second when voter are ready for conclusive election outcomes to reach, an data vacuum that leaves the nation notably susceptible.

What we’ll know

Maybe probably the most consequential second of the day will occur between 7 and 9 p.m. Jap Time, shortly after many East Coast polls shut and a few states begin to report data on hundreds of thousands of mail-in and early votes, to not point out the usual Election Day ballots. That can start to inform the story of the election. 

To start out with, the precise mechanics of counting varies by state. As polls shut, the reminiscence playing cards and USB sticks coming from each the computer systems that rely mail-in votes and the gear that dealt with early in-person voting will want simply minutes to tabulate weeks’ price of early votes. Many election officers might be double-checking outcomes studies earlier than publicly releasing numbers, to be sure that the numbers add up and to keep away from confusion. In any other case they may contribute to chaos at a very high-stakes second.