Democrats throughout the political and corporate media spheres are attempting to normalize delayed election results in highly contested states ahead of Election Day, forecasting that final vote totals might not be fully known until well after Nov. 8.
During a Zoom call with reporters last week, Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of state, Leigh Chapman, said that Americans should not be surprised if the state doesn’t have final election results on election night this November, with the Pennsylvania Democrat blaming any potential delays in vote tabulations on a state law that says election workers can’t begin processing mail-in ballots until Election Day.
“Official results will be available within a few days,” Chapman said. “This delay does not mean anything nefarious is happening. It simply means that the process is working as it is designed to work in Pennsylvania and that election officials are doing their job to count every vote.”
Pennsylvania is among nine states and the District of Columbia that permit election officials to begin processing absentee and mail-in ballots prior to the polls closing, but not before Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. As of Oct. 19, more than a million Pennsylvania voters had applied to vote by mail, with Chapman telling reporters the “overwhelming majority” of mail-in ballot requests have come from Democrats.
Delayed election results are not a new phenomenon for Pennsylvania; back in late May, the state took over a week to finalize the results of its Republican Senate primary that saw Mehmet Oz locked in a close contest with Dave McCormick. Voters in the state also experienced similar delays during the 2020 presidential election, where it took several days for the state to be called for then-candidate Joe Biden.
Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a lower court ruling that had allowed undated mail-in ballots to be counted, which is a violation of Pennsylvania law. Despite such statutory obligations and the high court’s ruling, Chapman decided to take matters into her own hands and flat-out told counties in the commonwealth that they didn’t need to comply with the ruling. The statement from Chapman has since prompted a lawsuit from the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups.
Democrats’ 2022 Playbook
In predictable fashion, left-wing media outlets are attempting to downplay concerns over delayed election results and regularize incompetent election administration. In the write-up of Chapman’s remarks, for instance, ABC News went out of its way to run interference for the Pennsylvania Democrat and titled the article, “Why Pennsylvania may not have election night results and why that’s OK.”
Other notable outlets pushing the same narrative include Politico, which on Sept. 19 ran an article headlined, “Why we may not know who won the Senate on Election Day,” that detailed how it “took five days after Election Day 2020 to tally enough votes for media organizations to call the presidential race for Joe Biden” and warned that the “same thing could happen in some of the country’s most important midterm elections this year.”
“Many of the same factors in the same battleground states are at play in 2022, starting with races that could have very slim margins,” state politics reporter Zach Montellaro wrote. “Add in the continued popularity of mail voting and state laws in Pennsylvania and elsewhere that can delay processing of those ballots, and the chance of another waiting game is distinct — possibly with control of the Senate up in the air.”
Not wanting to miss out on all the fun, the left-wing “fact checker” Politifact ran a similar piece on Oct. 3 titled, “Not all results will be known on election night 2022. That’s normal.” Citing several political journalists and “election experts,” the article’s authors argue that while there are “a few reasons to hope that the 2022 midterm elections will produce a faster count than 2020 did,” a “big lesson of 2020 voting — being patient — will be important this year, too.”
“Americans may not know on election night which party will control the House or Senate in 2023, if the results are close in multiple states with hot congressional races,” the Politifact report reads. “It might take days, or longer, to count enough ballots to know with reasonable certainty the outcome of key races.”
“People shouldn’t think of ‘election night’ anymore, rather ‘election week,'” it added.
Cause for Concern?
Try as they may to soften the blow of delayed election results, Democrats’ plan is banal at best. In 2020, outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post were already attempting to prepare voters for a long, drawn-out election process stemming from a massive increase in mail-in voting. Fairly soon, the media began pushing the narrative that Trump’s presumed election night lead, or the “red mirage,” would evaporate as mail-in ballots — which were used heavily by Democrat voters — were counted in the days following the election.
Despite their bid to cast “election week” as the “new normal,” the extensive amount of time it takes for U.S. election officials to finalize election results is embarrassing when compared to other first-world countries. In France, for example, it took officials less than 24 hours to determine the winner of its recently held presidential election. To date, the European nation still uses paper ballots in elections, while mail-in voting was outlawed in 1975 over concerns of “potential fraud.”
While none of this is to say that any potential delays in counting in the 2022 midterms will be a result of fraud, international election observers have indicated that delayed election results are one of several warning signs of incompetent election administration. But above all, forcing voters to wait in limbo while government officials take days to determine the outcome of an election does nothing but raise suspicions among the electorate about the validity and transparency of the electoral process. In the end, the biggest losers are the people themselves, whose trust in one of their country’s core institutions is further eroded and destroyed.