Here’s Exactly When We’ll Know A Winner By In The US Presidential Election

Donald Trump Joe Biden Election

Alrighty, it’s almost election day. Donald Trump and Joe Biden are going head to head in one of the most monumental elections ever. My horseshoes are flipped and my clovers are four-leafed for what is going to be a huge day in history no matter the result.

From 12pm AEST, we could very well get a clear idea as to whether Joe Biden has secured a victory, with the key state of Florida being one of the first states to close the polls. However, if Donald Trump wins Florida – or if it’s too close to tell – we could be in for a much longer ride.

There is also a chance that we may not know anything until much later in the night, or for even a couple of days, seeing as there are so many postal votes this year.

Matt Bevan, host and writer of ABC’s podcast on US politics, America, If You’re Listening, put together this handy Twitter thread so that we can all know just when to start panic-checking the results, and when to keep our heads on straight. All times are set to Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time.

Although the polls have predicted it will be pretty hard for Trump to win, there is still a chance he might

So yeah, here is your friendly timeline to the happenings of tomorrow’s election, but as always, we can’t be certain that things won’t go absolutely bonkers and fuck things up.

10am – Indiana And Kentucky Close

Indiana and Kentucky are often considered Republican states, and from current polling, it looks like Trump will continue to hold onto both of them. The good thing is, we only really need to look at the swing states to confirm whether Biden will secure the most electoral votes.

11am – Georgia Closes With (Most Of) Florida

With Florida and Georgia being battleground/swing states, it is important that Biden can win them over in the votes.

We did a big old explainer on swing states and what the polls have predicted for the election, which you can have a squiz at HERE.

12pm – All of Florida Closes / Biden Victory May Be Locked Soon

Basically, if Georgia belongs to Biden, then America can sit with us again, but it may take some time to count those votes (we’re talking days here). That’s why from 12pm (which is when all of Florida closes), we can start to see where things will go from here.

If Biden is leading/wins Florida onwards of 12pm, then he basically has this thing on lock. If he does not, the election will probably come down to if Biden can win Pennsylvania (see 5pm).

However, even if Biden does win, Trump might just straight up refuse to concede. Yeah, that’s a thing that could go down.

2pm – All States Close, Counting Commences

If things are still unclear at this point, everyone’s faces will be positively glued to their screens as things unfold. I’m packing an extra rosary to take to work. (So I’m packing one.)

4pm – Regardless Of Outcome, Trump May Declare Victory

So yeah, this is a thing that could happen. Trump may literally just hop on stage and give a speech about how he’s won a second term. If you’re just as confused as America is going to be, you can read all about why right HERE.

According to Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, Trump will declare victory if he looks to be ahead in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Arizona and Georgia. However, he’ll probably have a long-ass way to go to secure those precious 270 votes in the electoral college.

4.30pm – A Winner Reveals Themselves

Basically, if things are getting close, it’s now time to watch each state and who is winning them. If push comes to shove, Pennsylvania may be our last shot at a Biden win.

Hopefully, we can all stay sober on a Wednesday night. Thursday morning is going to hit DIFFERENT.

5pm – Pennsylvania Time

Pennsylvania is tragically slow at counting those votes, so if we get to 5pm and there is still no clear winner, we may have to face some turbo levels of fuckery in the Supreme Court, as Trump prepares legal challenges around claiming postal votes as voter fraud. Naturally, this is a big claim to make, especially when in the year of our lord COVID, postal votes are at record highs.

“If it’s close in the end, and comes down to one state, which will probably be Pennsylvania, there are numerous legal challenges being prepared by Trump around voter fraud,” said Senior Lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy at the University of Sydney, Dr David Smith.

A Trump court case at this point could alter how long we have to wait until we can see a result, so that’s why many are hoping it doesn’t get down to Pennsylvania.

“We could end up seeing hundreds, thousands or even millions of ballot votes thrown out according to how those court cases go, which have a lot to do with ballots that arrive late or miss some step in the procedure.”

Please Pennsylvania, rally the vampires or whatever and get them to vote, we’re counting on you.

Is There Anything That Could Alter This Timeline?

Already we have seen imagery of stores around the US boarding themselves up in preparation for civil unrest, which is wild to think about when Aussies just walk into a local school and get their democracy sausage.

With the potential occurrence of violence (and this is America we’re talking about), things can go sideways very quickly, with votes going missing and people feeling too threatened around polling booths to even have their say.

And naturally, we have to be wary of the fact that foreign interference is now a thing to look out for. Whether it be Russian or otherwise, things have been interfered with before, and Trump will definitely stop at nothing to secure his win.

Godspeed, America. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.