Update November 4, 4:30 pm ET: Our partners at Decision Desk have called the state for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Michigan is one of several states left uncalled for the presidency as of Wednesday morning — and the state’s top election official said results likely won’t come until Wednesday night at the earliest.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters on Tuesday night that she expects it will take 24 hours to get the full picture of the state’s results for the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as its down-ballot races, the Detroit News reported.
Even though that’s a delay, it’s still less time than Benson’s previous estimate of 80 hours to tabulate all of the state’s ballots. The delay was largely caused by the fact that officials could not legally begin tabulating the state’s mail-in votes until Monday. That was especially problematic, given the Covid-19 pandemic saw a surge in voters using mail-in ballots in the state.
Republican state legislatures in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania refused to let election officials start processing ballots early. (It should be noted that this isn’t a partisan issue everywhere, since Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina, which also have state legislatures controlled by Republicans, reported most of their results more quickly.) In other words, these states haven’t been able to get a jump on processing ballots. As Vox’s Andrew Prokop wrote:
As a result, the time-consuming process of determining whether each mail-in ballot was properly cast can’t start until Election Day itself (the Michigan GOP deigned to let some areas of the state start one day early).
It’s hard to overstate Michigan’s importance in the 2020 election. The state — along with Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — is critical to Biden’s chances of winning the Electoral College. It also has a competitive Senate race in which the incumbent, Democratic Sen. Gary Peters, is facing a strong challenge from Republican John James. Democrats are trying to flip control of the Senate, but with Democratic Sen. Doug Jones losing his seat in Alabama, their chances could dissolve if Peters loses his race.
Vox is carrying live results, powered by our friends at Decision Desk.
Part of the delay comes from state election officials still needing to count some absentee ballots in its largest city of Detroit, Benson told reporters Tuesday. And according to CNN, Detroit Deputy Clerk Andre Gilbert expects to be able to share the city’s preliminary results Wednesday morning.
As Prokop noted, some parts of Michigan were able to start processing their absentee ballots the day before Election Day. And just that slight jump-start in processing votes in some parts of the state could make a difference in when we might have the results.
Finally, here’s how Vox (and other media outlets) will be making calls.