The midterm elections in the United States take place on November 8, and chances are we have a pretty good idea of who holds the balance of power that night. However, that was not the case in the last US election and may not be the case on Tuesday.
The counting of ballots is hampered by different systems, recounts and slow processes. If it’s too close to call, it will take some time to sort out but that’s not all.
In Georgia, one of the tightest races we could see a repeat of 2020. In this race last time no candidate got 50% of the vote, so there was a run-off that eventually hoisted the Democrats to 50 seats and control of the Senate. This ultimately proved essential as it allowed them to pass many stimulus bills.
Polls for this race show Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver sitting at 3-4% of the vote. If that’s enough to prevent Warnock or Walker from securing a majority, the runoff won’t take place until December 6, leaving the balance of power in question.
An equally close race is underway Pennsylvania between Dr. Oz and John Fetterman. In this state, mail-in ballots are not counted until the day after Election Day and it can take days.
Arizona is also hotly contested and voting there is mostly done by mail and in 2020 it was one of the last battlegrounds to be decided. The state also has an automatic 0.5% threshold for a recount.
Add to that the possibility of candidates refusing to accept the results and it could be a turbulent time.