Complete Presidential Election Guide: When Polls Close, What To Expect Tonight, Electoral College Counts
Although this presidential election was largely conducted via mail-in ballots due to COVID-19, many voters have opted to vote in-person. Here you can find what time polls close in each state, and what to expect as votes begin to be counted.
What time do polls close in each state? (All times are local to the state).
6 p.m. — Indiana and Kentucky (a few counties in Indiana remain open for another hour)
7 p.m. — Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming
7:30 p.m. — Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
8 p.m. — Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Washington D.C., Wisconsin
9 p.m. — Iowa, New York, North Dakota
As long as you are in line by the time the polls close, you have the right to vote.
What to expect as polls close
6 p.m. EST — Indiana and Kentucky
As these two states begin reporting results, they’re unlikely to be predictors of the full outcome. Officials in Indiana have said that due to the large volume of absentee ballots, complete unofficial results may not be available until 1-2 days following the election. Kentucky predicts more than 90% of its ballots to be counted by the end of the night. Both states (11 and 8 electoral votes respectively) are expected to go to President Donald Trump.
7 p.m. EST — Florida (some counties remain open later), Georgia, South Carolina, Vermont (some counties remain open later) and Virginia
Florida, a key swing state, is expected to be called quickly after its polls close, likely around 8 p.m. EST. Georgia’s secretary of state said he expects the winners of most races to be announced Wednesday, but it may take a couple of days for the entire unofficial results to come in. South Carolina intends to release 100% of its tally on Election Night, and while it may end up being pushed back a day, voters should have a good idea of which way the state will go. Vermont plans to have their results ready in most counties by midnight. Counties in Virginia must report all in-person and mail-in ballots that have been processed so far by 11 p.m., but postmarked mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day may continue to throw off the count and will be reported Friday.
Florida (29 electoral votes) is a swing state leaning towards Trump. Georgia (16 electoral votes) and South Carolina (9 electoral votes) are expected to go to Trump. Vermont (3 electoral votes) and Virginia (13 electoral votes) are expected to go to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
7:30 p.m. EST — Ohio, North Carolina and West Virginia
Ohio’s statewide certification of votes is not due until Nov. 28, meaning the state will likely take longer to know the full results. Votes cast before Election Day will be reported by 8 p.m. and will be followed by counts of those arriving on Election Day and votes cast in-person. The state will likely take longer to call, due to its ability to count votes after Nov. 3. North Carolina officials will report early in-person votes and mail-in ballots that have been processed around 7:30 p.m., and they have estimated 97% of ballots cast to reported by the end of the night, per the New York Times. West Virginia did not provide an estimate for when the count would be ready, but postmarked mail-in ballots may continue to arrive up until Nov. 9.
Ohio (18 electoral votes) and North Carolina (15 electoral votes) are both swing states. West Virginia (5 electoral votes) is expected to go to Trump.
8 p.m. EST — Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas (most), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (some counties remain open later), Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota (some counties remain open later) Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota (some counties remain open later), Tennessee, Texas (some counties remain open later) and Washington D.C.
Alabama, Maine, Missouri, Rhode Island and Texas will likely have most results by the end of the night. Delaware, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Dakota and Tennessee should have most or all of their results by midday Wednesday, South Dakota by late Wednesday and Michigan by Nov. 6. Oklahoma said they would provide results after the election, but may have to work through the morning to get every ballot counted. Connecticut officials are less sure of when the results will be ready, but the statutory deadline is Saturday. Illinois and Maryland are unsure of when its full results will be ready as well, due to mail-in ballots. D.C., Kansas, New Hampshire and New Jersey did not predict when its results will be ready.
Pennsylvania will likely take a while to release its unofficial count, as election officials are prohibited by law from opening mail-in ballots ahead of Election Day. The initial count wil be largely from in-person voters, and is expected to favor Trump. However, the majority of individuals who voted by mail favored Biden, according to a recent Times/Siena poll which showed Biden leading 80-13 among voters who had returned their mail-in ballots. With 20 electoral votes, Pennsylvania remains a key swing state — whose results will likely not be fully known by the end of the evening.
Alabama (9 electors), Kansas (6 electors), Mississippi (6 electors), Missouri (10 electors), North Dakota (3 electors), Oklahoma (7 electors), South Dakota (3 electors), Tennessee (11 electors) are expected to go to Trump. Texas (38 electors) leans Republican but has been listed as a swing state by some election analysts in recent days, due to high voter turnout. Connecticut (7 electors), Delaware (3 electors), Illinois (20 electors), Maine (4 electors, though it is not a winner-take-all state and one district is a toss-up), Maryland (10 electors), Massachusetts (11 electors), New Hampshire (4 electors), New Jersey (14 electors), Rhode Island (4 electors) and Washington D.C. (3 electors) are all expected to go to Trump. Michigan (16 electors) and Pennsylvania (20 electors) are swing states.
8:30 p.m. EST — As results continue to come in from other states closing their polls, Arkansas will begin reporting its results
Arkansas will have nearly all votes reported by noon Wednesday. It is expected to go to Trump and has six electoral votes.
9 p.m. EST — Arizona, Colorado, Lousiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin and Wyoming
Nebraska plans to have their results by midnight, and Wisconsin and New Mexico said the vast majority of their votes will have been counted by the end of the night. Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and Wyoming will have the bulk of their ballots reported by Wednesday. Lousiana did not provide an estimate for when its tallies would be ready, and New York is expected to take weeks to fully count its votes.
Louisana (8 electors), Nebraska (5 electors) and Wyoming (3 electors) are expected to go to Trump. Arizona (11 electors) and Colorado (9 electors) will likely go to Biden. Minnesota (10 electors), New Mexico (5 electors) and New York (29 electors) are expected to go to Biden. Wisconsin (10 electors) is a swing state that has leaned blue in recent polls.
10 p.m. EST — Idaho (some counties remain open later), Iowa, Montana, Nevada and Utah
Idaho estimates that all its results will be ready by noon Wednesday. Iowa and Montana have both indicated they plan to have their results ready as soon as possible, though mail-in ballots in Iowa may continue to arrive up until Nov. 9. Utah did not provide an estimate on when their unofficial count would be ready.
Idaho (4 electors), Montana (3 electors) and Utah (6 electors) are expected to go to Trump, while Nevada (6 electors) is expected to go to Biden. Iowa (6 electors) is a swing state.
11 p.m. EST — California, Oregon and Washington
Due to the high number of mail-in ballots in California, the state may be continuing to count votes up to weeks after the election. Washington said up to 60% of its ballots will be reported on Election night. Oregon did not provide a timeline estimate.
All three states — with a total of 74 electors — are expected to go to Biden.
After midnight EST — Alaska and Hawaii
Nearly all results in Hawaii will have been reported by Wednesday, in contrast to Alaska which will not even begin counting absentee ballots until about a week after the election.
Hawaii (4 electors) is expected to go to Biden and Alaska (3 electors) to Trump.
Who will win the election?
The results of the election may not be immediately known, simply due to the overwhelming number of mail-in ballots and estimated timelines of completion provided by officials. The state-by-state predictions listed above are based on polling averages and the New York Times’ own predictions.
A candidate must win 270 votes in order to become president.
The combined number of electoral votes likely or expected to go to Biden total 244 votes. The combined number of electoral votes likely or expected to go to Trump (including Texas) total 180. That means there are 114 electoral votes that could go either way. The battleground states to watch out for regarding those votes are Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.