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How can the AP call US midterm races just as the polls close? | US Midterm Elections 2022 News


Al Jazeera is using Associated Press data to determine the winners of the midterm election race.

Almost immediately after polls for the midterm elections closed across the United States on Tuesday, the Associated Press was able to announce the winners of several races.

How can that happen before any results are published? Let’s see how the AP can declare a winner before the first votes are counted.

First, a quick update on why and how AP works.

The country’s founders did not set up a national body to count votes. Each state does it a little differently.

On election night, the AP counted the nation’s votes, tallying the results of millions of ballots, as reported by local election officials, to come up with a total for thousands of races. It has been doing so since 1848 when the AP counting of votes ended with the election of Zachary Taylor as president.

The tally involved tons of preparation, journalists in all 50 US states, and a network of about 4,000 typists, or temporary freelancers.

So what about those land-call races that are the time when the polls end – before any votes are officially counted?

Some are in untested races or those with only one candidate on the ballot. And then there are races with multiple candidates, but in which a party or candidate has a consistent and convincing winning history.

In these states, the AP may use results from the AP VoteCast, a survey of U.S. voters to determine why voters voted the way they did, to confirm a candidate’s victory. candidate.

“The results from the poll – along with our analysis of early voting and other statistics – confirm our expectation that longstanding political trends in these states will hold. ,” said David Scott, senior editor who helps oversee AP coverage of elections.

However, AP will not call the winner of a race before the final polls have ended in a jurisdiction, including in states where the polls do not end at the same time.

AP makes no predictions and will only declare winners when it determines no scenario would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap – even if one candidate has claimed victory and others Others gave in, Scott said. He notes that claims of victory may be premature and concessions may be withdrawn.

“Only when we determine that the trailing candidates no longer have a path to victory do we call a race and send APNewsAlert declaring that a candidate has won,” says Scott. “In rare cases, that can happen right after all polls are over.”

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