United States Elections Voting Count System

The United States of America is a Democratic, Federal Republic with three organs of the government and a bicameral legislature. The US has a presidential form of government which means that the head of government leads the executive branch separate from the legislative branch.

The election of President and vice president of the United States of America is indirect in nature. Citizens who are registered voters in any of the 50 states cast votes for the members of the Electoral College and not directly for the offices. These electors then vote out the President and the Vice President.

Ways of voting

In most states, there are four ways of voting. First is in person before the Election Day; second on the Election Day; third is by mailing absentee ballot; or fourth by placing it in a secure dropbox.

Process of voting

When voting in person, the Election Officials check each voter’s name and address to ensure that they are registered voters and are voting in the right place. These officials work in teams of two and both of the workers cannot be from the same political party.

  • Voting in person: The voters cast their vote by using an EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) or by filling a paper ballot in private. Election Officers then collect the ballot papers, check the names of the voters, and put it in a secure box. At polling sites, with EVMs, a computer records two separate pieces of information, their name with the date and their vote choices to make sure that voter preferences stay secret. The machine prints out a receipt with the first piece of information.
  • Voting Absentee: Every single registered voter gets an absentee ballot in the mail in some states but in the rest of the states the voters have to fill a request form to get a ballot mailed to them. But the absentee needs to get verified, for this pair of Officials scans the sealed envelopes into a computer. Then, they check the signature on the envelope against the voter registration database. Some states require a notary signature while others require a witness’s signature.

Counting

All paper ballots from absentee and in-person voting both are indexed by using a machine. This data is stored in a memory card, and the counted votes go back in their secure boxes. The Election Officials then combine the counts from the electronic voting machines and the paper ballots. These polling places report them to the County Board of elections, who then further reports it to the State Board of Elections.

US election results 2020: Which states are still counting votes and when  will they be done?

Polling places and the County boards on Election Day are continuously counting and reporting new numbers every hour. State boards post the counts online after the polls close and keep updating them as more numbers come in. it takes hours and days to count these votes. And when this all is done the results are announced.

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