What's taking so long in the last few states?
November 10, 2016 3:12 AM   Subscribe

How come Arizona, New Hampshire and Michigan haven't been declared yet?

Especially as, if I understand this NYT page correctly, 100% of the votes have actually been counted in two of those states? And what's taking so long to count the votes in Arizona? (I'm British, by the way, in case that makes a different to the level of explanation required in your answer.)
posted by FavourableChicken to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Votes always take days to count, in every state, even in the states that are ostensibly declared early. The vast majority of votes will be machine-counted, but there are also write-in votes and mail-in votes from overseas and whatnot. In the states that have been called by the media, those trailing votes are not expected to be sufficient to change the outcome; in particularly close races, that may not be so.
posted by Shmuel510 at 5:43 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Thanks. Am I reading the NYT page wrongly then? Does the "est. pct. of vote" column not show the proportion of votes that have been counted already?
posted by FavourableChicken at 9:12 AM on November 10, 2016

"Est." is the key word there. It's kind of like a Windows "time remaining" status bar; it is not entirely tied to reality.

It may also be worth noting that nothing is official until the results are certified; at this point, what we have are the best educated guesses of the media. On Election Night, there's a tension between networks and other sources wanting the bragging rights of being first with the results, up against not wanting the shame of getting it wrong. (They've had a heightened sense of the risk of the latter since the Florida Debacle of 2000.) At this point, there's not much to be gained by rushing to call the remaining states.
posted by Shmuel510 at 9:55 AM on November 10, 2016

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