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Election Day
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Everything you should know about Election Day so far

November 3 is almost upon us.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Election Day—Tuesday, November 3—is a mere four days away and tensions are running high. With a record 80 million Americans having already cast ballots—that's 58% of total 2016 turnout—United States citizens are clearly making their voices heard in the political battle between incumbent President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.

RECOMMENDED: Find out when, where and how to cast your vote on Google Maps

Our 2020 voting guide breaks down everything you should be aware of before Election Day—from registration deadlines to early voting information and mail-in voting rules for all 50 states. Below, we move one step further and highlight important details concerning actual Election Day.

Here, learn everything you should know about while glued to your news outlets early next week. Remember: history is in the making and you can take an active role in its shaping.

When is the best time to vote? Before the election, actually. Given the current pandemic and the long lines expected at all polling stations, experts are encouraging voters to cast their ballots by mail or in person prior to November 3. If you can't do so, try to head to the polls early in the morning.

When will we know the results of the election? Traditionally, news networks have been calling the results of the race on actual election night, after all polls close. This year, things will likely be a bit different. Given the vast number of votes expected, the potential for litigation and the various rules concerning mail-in ballots (will they be counted if received post-Election Day, for example?), it might be weeks until we hear official news. 

Speaking of mail-in ballots, when will those be counted? Each state has different rules about that. In some states (Arizona, Florida, North Carolina), the ballots will be processed ahead of Election Day. In others—like Pennsylvania—the counting is only allowed starting November 3. 

Anything else I should know about for now? Yes. Prepare yourself for utter chaos as both parties, and the American population as a whole, will likely have much to say about voting and Election Day-related issues. That being said, keep in mind that all potential state recounts and litigated contests concerning the results must be completed by December 8. On December 14, all electors will cast their ballots for the President and the Vice President and, on January 6, the new U.S. Congress will meet in a joint session to actually count the electoral college votes. The elected President will then be sworn in.

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