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When are postal votes counted and could they delay the US Election result?

The result of the US election remains undecided, with votes from several states still to come in before either Donald Trump or Joe Biden is declared the winner.

While Trump has already tried to declare himself the winner of the ballot in a speech at the White House early on Wednesday morning, it could still be a few days before all the votes are counted and the winner is known.

That’s due largely to the postal votes which need to be counted – but just when will they be, and could it have an impact on the result being announced today?

Here’s what you need to know…

When are postal votes counted?

Postal votes could take a few days or more to count.

They typically take longer to count, as they have to go through a longer process of steps to ensure they are not fraudulent.

This year there have been more postal votes than usual in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic – which has led to more people voting remotely to avoid polling stations.

It’s estimated around 94m people voted early in this year’s election – and while some states, such as Florida, began processing them early, others – including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – do not begin the process until polling day.

Could postal votes delay the result?

It’s certainly possible – with a further delay caused by the fact that some states will also accept ballots by post up to three days after the election.

This means that it could take a few days to count all of the votes which have been mailed in.

In the event of a delay, the country simply has to wait patiently until the result comes through – with one candidate needing to reach 270 electoral college points to be declared winner.

It wouldn’t be the first time the election has been hit by delays – in 2000 it was 36 days before George W Bush was declared winner, due to legal issues with the voting in Florida.

MORE : Piers Morgan slams mainstream media for underestimating Trump again

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US election 2020

Follow our US election live blog for the latest updates throughout election day and night.

Wondering how it all works? Check out our guide to the most Googled questions on the 2020 election which covers everything you need to know about swing states, the electoral college, and everything in between.

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