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Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

An Inconclusive 2020 Election Night Is Already Looming

News anchors, take note: The vote totals you’ll have on Nov. 3 might very well be wrong.

Start spreading the news.

Start spreading the news.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

We’re one year from the 2020 presidential election. And I hope that the folks who run newsrooms at the broadcast and cable news networks, as well as at any other major media outlets, are arriving at a plan to deal with one of the trickiest parts of Election Day coverage: The slow vote count in western states. 

We know it’s going to happen. In several states where voting by mail is either the only or a major form of casting ballots, and where those ballots take time to collect, the Election Day counts are — not can be, but are — highly misleading. We know that millions of votes will be counted after election night. And we know that those votes will tilt toward Democrats.