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Experts say delay in election results is not unusual

Posted at 12:50 AM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 00:50:25-05

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Election day has come and gone, but as we wait to find out who won the presidency, questions are floating around.

When will we know the election results, and how does a vote recount work?

Professor Brandon Jett at Florida Southwestern State College says, historically, there have been elections in the past where results have taken over a month to come in.

“The election of 2000 stands out in most people's memory,” said Jett. "The election of 1876 went for four months."

But Jett says there are deadlines each state has to certify their elections by.

Those results being ultimately reported to the electoral college.

“December 14 is when the electoral college makes their decision and that when we’ll have a clearer picture of what the end of this thing will look like official,” said Jett.

In Florida, any necessary recounts would need to be completed before that date.

But how does a vote recount work?

We asked Trish Robertson, a public relations officer with the Collier County Supervisor of Elections.

"It’ all depends on what the margins are between the two candidates,” said Robertson.

Florida is among seven states that do not allow a losing candidate to request a recount.

A recount can only be triggered automatically by a narrow margin.

“Anything that is half (0.5) of a percentage or less will trigger a machine recount, and anything that triggers a quarter (.25) of a percentage or less will trigger a manual recount,” said Robertson.

Robertson says this something they didn’t see in this election.

“We have something known as the election official prayer; we don’t care who wins as long as they win big.”