All eyes are on the Virginia Governor’s race today and we’ll of course have election results starting shortly after polls close at 7 pm eastern at results.decisiondeskhq.com. We’ll also be covering the Virginia Lt. Governor and Attorney General races, plus the heated battle for control of the House of Delegates, where there’s a potential for a flip in party control.
In New Jersey, the Governor and all members of the state legislature are up for election today as well. Polls close in the Garden State at 8 EDT.
There are a number of other races we’ll be covering across the country tonight, starting with special elections in the Kentucky state legislature (first polls close there at 6 pm eastern) to the mayoral race in Seattle Washington (11 pm eastern poll closing). In between we’ll cover two special elections for Congress in Ohio, special primary elections for a seat in Congress from Florida, mayoral races in Boston, New York City, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and many, many more races. We hope you’ll join us for them all.
You can also catch commentary and analysis on Virginia and New Jersey at Elections-Daily.com. As part of Decision Desk HQ News, their team will be using our results to discuss and explain what tonight’s returns mean.
A lot of prep work goes into getting ready for any election night. No two states, counties, or cities are the same in how they report their results and the rules by which they conduct their elections. Knowing this kind of background information for every office is an important part of what we do at Decision Desk HQ and how we’re able to provide results and race calls as fast and accurately as we do.
One election on November 2nd is set to provide a particularly interesting set of circumstances we wanted to make you aware of ahead of time, the race for Buffalo, NY Mayor.
Back in June, India Walton defeated four-term incumbent Byron Brown in the city’s Democratic primary. Buffalo is a Democratic city and winning the Democratic primary is tantamount to being elected.
This year is no different in terms of major party opposition to Walton as the Democratic nominee. The difference is Brown is running as a write-in candidate. Most write-in campaigns are token efforts at best but polling shows Brown, one of three certified write-in candidates, is actually leading the race.
All of this is to say what normally would be a quickly called election is suddenly more complex. This is where understanding the process is important. Our Deputy Director Of Election Operations Max Gowins has been tracking how things will work on election night and beyond in Buffalo. It’s not neat and simple.
“According to officials, they will report Walton’s vote total along with the number of ballots indicating a preference for another candidate on the write-in line as ‘Write-In’. State law prohibits officials from counting write-in vote totals for candidates until 10 days after election day. At that point, election officials will have to determine which votes meet state law requirements for being counted and assigned to a candidate. They will not be officially announcing partial results of the write-in totals. The final totals for write-in candidates will be announced when the certified results are published. That’s likely weeks after election day.”
It’s also possible, even likely, there will be legal challenges over the standards used to credit some write-in votes and other issues.
If on election night Walton has a lead over the total of write-in ballots, it may be a straightforward affair. If it’s close or “Write-In” is leading, then don’t expect anything to be settled on election night.
This is just one of the hundreds of races will be reporting on today. Each has its own story and unique features.