A look at the key times to be wary about when we get to the end of voting


Adam put up a post yesterday on when the last six elections were called, and that gives a bit of an idea to what we can expect this year as well.

But with the number of votes set to surpass that of 2016 and mail-in ballots a considerable factor, we may see a longer time for states to report the results this time around.

That said, it is still important to have an idea of the timeline in case there are any media outlets calling things prematurely based on the early results/counts.

I'll be basing the timeline largely on the six key swing states i.e. Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

0000 GMT (1900 ET) - Florida polls close

Typically, Florida counts their votes quickly with early results reported in the first 30 minutes of the polls closing. But just be mindful that the order of results will go from processed mail-in ballots first, followed by early votes, and then election day votes.

Despite the possibility of a high number of mail-in ballots - which takes longer to verify - preliminary results should be rather quick in Florida although the count will continue past election night.

Unless the race is too close to call, in which there will also be recounts, then the result here isn't likely to be delayed too much compared to previous years.

0030 GMT (1930 ET) - North Carolina polls close

Much like Florida, North Carolina also tends to count its early votes quickly so expect a host results to come in between 0100 GMT and 0200 GMT.

Just be mindful though that this is a state where Democrats are also planning to flip the Senate seat as well, so the initial count i.e. mail-in ballots and early votes may favour Biden but Trump could still offer a real fight when election day votes are counted.

If the race proves too close to call, that may delay the official results for a few days with North Carolina being one of the few states to allow mail-in ballots marked on election day to be tabulated all the way through to 12 November.

0100 GMT (2000 ET) - Michigan and Pennsylvania polls close

Some polling sites in Michigan will close at this time but Pennsylvania will be done for the count at this time. However, both states have said that there might be a delay in the results due to the need to count the flood of mail-in ballots this time around.

As such, it may be tough to really read into any early calls here but expect there to be plenty of rumours and reports to detail sentiment on the ground.

The slow count in both states will be something to be mindful about, if the preliminary results in other key swing states prove to be tighter than anticipated.

Also, just be mindful that some polling sites in Texas also close at this time so there will be results to follow from there. If Biden - for whatever implausible reason - comes close in Texas, that could be one of the signs to watch out for on election night.

0200 GMT (2100 ET) - Arizona and Wisconsin polls close

Arizona is one of the key swing states that are expected to report results quickly, so just be aware of things shape up there from around 0300 GMT to 0400 GMT.

By now, we may be getting a clearer picture of how things are panning out in Florida and North Carolina so just be mindful that this is where the market may start to look for clues to speculate on the election outcome and possibly posture one way or another.

Wisconsin will likely take a while to tally the votes but it is still one to look out for during the night as it is part of the bundle of six that the market will pay attention to.