The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election in Swing States

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 11:42 am, November 8, 2016

Colorado

States Vote Colorado

 In 2013, Colorado legislature approved mail-in ballots, becoming one of just three states to use them. It’s how around 95 percent of Coloradans vote.

 

What time do the polls close?

Across Colorado, polls close at 7 p.m. Voters in line by 7 p.m. may still cast their ballots.

A 2014 district court ruling established that any mail-in ballots must reach the clerk by 7 p.m. on election day to be counted.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

The results for Colorado may take longer to turn around than other places. As of Nov. 7, just 56 percent of the 3.26 million people who received mail-in ballots had returned them.

 

Republicans pull ahead in early voting

Democrats have led early voting in Colorado this year, but on Monday, Republicans overtook them by about 7,350 voters.

 

Pay attention to Denver and Boulder.

They’re both big, Democrat-leaning counties—and they tend to report preliminary results later on election night. So earlier reports on Election Night may look more Republican than they really are.

For instance, in 2014, when Boulder and Denver were finally counted, Cory Gardner’s big lead over Mark Udall narrowed significantly, though he still won the senate seat.

 

Mail-in ballots have caused controversy and prompted legal challenges before.

A Conejos County sheriff lost the primary by just 17 votes. He sued, arguing that some of the ballots postmarked on the election should be counted. In 2014, the judge considering that case ruled that mail-in ballots must be in the clerk’s hands by 7 p.m. to be counted.

 

Florida

States Vote Florida

What time do the polls close?

Polls close at 7 across Florida. Notably, one part of the state is in EST while the other is in Central Time Zone.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

Under Florida law, 30 minutes after polls close, counties must issue their preliminary results, updating them every 45 minutes as votes are counted.

 

Was there early voting? If so, what were some early possible indications?

Florida does offer early voting between Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, as well as mail-in voting.

Of the 2.5 million votes cast by mail so far, 41 percent were Republican and 38 percent were Democrat, with the remainder registered with a third party or reporting no party affiliation.

Of the nearly 3.9 million early votes already cast, 36 percent were Republican and 41 percent were Democrat, with the remainder registered with a third party or reporting no party affiliation.

 

 

Iowa

States Vote Iowa

 What time do the polls close?

Polls in Iowa close at 9 p.m., one of the latest to close in the United States.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

Initial results begin rolling in shortly after 9. Many counties—particularly ones that are big or have a lot of absentee ballots submitted—have already begun counting absentee ballots.

 

Democrats pull ahead in early voting.

Iowa has a 40-day early voting window, one of the longest in the nation. As of Saturday, more than 247,000 Democrats had cast their ballots, leading Republicans by roughly 42,000 votes. There were also more than 137,500 early voters who reported no party affiliation.

 

Keep an eye on Polk County and Scott County.

Democrats have a slight upper hand in Polk County in particular, but how heavily it leans left could be a good indicator. “If Republicans can keep it close in those, that probably bodes well for Trump,” says Kevin Hall, communications director for Iowa’s Secretary of State. “If it’s a blowout, that’ll bode well for Hillary Clinton.”

 

 

Michigan

States Vote Michigan

What time do the polls close?

Polls in Michigan close at 8 p.m., with the majority of counties in EST but four in Central Time Zone.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

It’s tough to tell, says Fred Woodhams, the spokesman for the Michigan Secretary of State. “It could be the early morning hours, especially for the bigger counties,” he says. The counties in the Detroit metro area, which are overwhelmingly Democratic, often come in later.

 

There’s no early voting in in Michigan.

 

Nevada

States Vote Nevada

What time do polls close?

Polls close at 7 p.m., and anyone in line by then can cast a ballot.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

 

“We have no idea how long,” says Gail Anderson, a spokesperson for the Nevada Secretary of State. “It depends on a lot of factors and how long it takes the counties to get everything in.”

 

Early voting is high, with Democratic voters outnumbering Republicans.

Anderson says more than half of active, registered voters have already cast ballots during the early voting period, which ran from Oct. 22 through Nov. 4. Of nearly 1.5 million people who have already cast votes, 42 percent were Democrats, compared to 36 percent who were registered as Republican.

 

New Hampshire

States Vote New Hampshire

What time do the polls close?

Polls are required to be open until at least 7, though some polling stations stay open until 9.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

The state doesn’t begin tallying results until Wednesday morning, when state police deliver results from cities and towns. However, those localities release their own numbers on Tuesday evening.

 

There’s no early voting in New Hampshire.

 

 

North Carolina

States Vote North Carolina

What time do the polls close?

Polls in New Hampshire close at 7:30 p.m.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

Polling stations will begin tallying results not long after voting closes, but Patrick Gannon, the spokesman for the North Carolina State Board of Elections, says he can’t predict when we’ll know the outcome. “Those would be famous last words,” he says.

 

Almost half of registered voters cast ballots early in North Carolina, with Democratic turnout higher so far.

Forty-five percent of North Carolina’s registered voters took advantage of the 17-day early voting period, which ended Saturday. As of Monday, Democrats led Republicans about 42 percent to 32 percent. More than one-fourth of those who have already voted have no party affiliation.

 

 

Ohio

States Vote Ohio

What time do polls close?

Polls close at 7:30 p.m.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

The first results will go up at 7:45, a tally of all of the ballots submitted during early voting and absentee voting. “After that, it’s anyone’s guess,” says Josh Eck, spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State. Each county is required to report on a schedule, though those vary; the Secretary of State’s website will update every three minutes.

 

Early voting has been ongoing since Oct. 12.

Nearly 1.8 million people had already cast their ballots as of Nov. 7.

 

 

Pennsylvania

States Vote Pennsylvania

What time do the polls close?

Polls close at 8 p.m., though anyone in line by then can still vote.

 

What time do results start rolling in?

Not too long after 8 p.m., the Pennsylvania Secretary of State will begin posting initial tallies on its website.

 

There’s no early voting in Pennsylvania.

And voters must demonstrate they have a legitimate reason to be allowed to vote absentee.

 

Democrats have had the historic advantage, but Trump made a play there.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won in Pennsylvania since 1988. Furthermore, the Clintons have never lost in Pennsylvania, with Bill winning the state in 1992 and 1996 and Hillary beating Barack Obama there in 2008. Still, disgruntled blue-collar voters may give Trump a chance there.

 

 

Virginia

States Vote Virginia

What time do the polls close?

Polls close at 7 p.m., though anyone in line by then can still vote.

 

What time will results start rolling in?

“Can’t predict this, but we should start seeing some precincts not long after polls close,” says Dena Potter, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Elections.

 

Virginia does not have early voting.

To cast an absentee ballot, Virginia voters must meet one of 19 criteria. And absentee ballots aren’t counted until Election Day. Still, this year broke the record with more than 615,000 absentee ballots.

 

Democrats have recently broken Republicans’ stronghold in the state.

Republican presidential candidates secured Virginia between 1972 and 2004, but Barack Obama broke that winning streak in 2008.

 

 

Wisconsin

States Vote Wisconsin

What time do the polls close?

Polls close at 8 p.m., though anyone in line by then can still vote.

 

What time will results start rolling in?

Expect to know about Wisconsin around midnight. Municipal clerks running the election must report to counties within two hours of polls closing; from then, counties have 2 hours to aggregate the numbers.

 

Wisconsin allows in-person absentee voting beginning in September.

As of Monday, nearly 798,000 Wisconsin voters had already cast their ballots.

 

Pay special attention to the counties around Milwaukee.

They’re typically Republican, but so far, Trump hasn’t polled well in these suburbs. “How well he does in those counties, especially in the exit polls or in terms of general turnout, might be an indication,” says Reid Magney, the public information officer for the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

 

This is the first presidential election where Wisconsin’s new voter ID law is in place.

Voters who don’t bring a valid ID get a provisional ballot. To get their vote counted, they can retrieve an ID from home and return to the polling place. Or, if they lack a valid ID, they can sign up for one today. In that case, they must return with their new ID by 4 p.m. Friday to have their vote counted.

 

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