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Fri Nov 6, 2020, 02:42 PM

Projections vs Certfied Results (a timeline)

It seems that some people thinking "calling" a state is official or has some legal weight. It doesn't. When the networks "call" a state that is simply a projection. It is the network statisticians looking at the results and concluding that it is infeasible for the other candidate to win and thus it is safe to declare for example that Biden "WILL" (note the future tense) win Virginia.

So any map you see on NYT or NBC news showing Red of Blue states is simply a projection, an opinion on what will eventually happen. These are almost never wrong but they have zero weight under the law. None of them are official. Virginia is not official, Maine is not official, Florida is not officially. All these are just projections that when the official certified results are posted that is who will win that state. Someone asked why don't people wait for the certified results and the answer is you certainly can but most people are impatient.

The next step in the process is the states conclude their counting and post final tallies. Then they will conduct any required recounts, resolve any legal challenge, and finally certify the final results. The process for this varies by state and so do the timelines. Virginia is required under law to certify results no later than 11/10 while California has until 12/11.

If you are curious when your state does that here is a helpful list. Regardless it will be many weeks before all 50 states have official certified results.
https://ballotpedia.org/Election_results_certification_dates,_2020

The next step after that is the electors chosen in each state as a result of the certified state results meet. While we say "electoral college" they never actually meet as a single body. Electors just meet in each state and vote for that state. That happens on 12/14. The states then have a hard deadline under federal law to deliver certified results of the electoral college to Congress no later than 12/23.

The final step is Congress certifies those results. If one candidate has 270 votes he/she becomes the official President elect. That happens on Jan 6th. As a technicality there is no official (by the letter of the law) President Elect until this day. Personally I am calling Biden President elect starting today.

Then of course Biden will become President on Jan 20th at exactly noon.

Short version
11/3 - Election day
11/3 to ??? - Unofficial results and network projections of a winner (you are here)
11/10 - The deadline for the earliest states to provide certified results
12/11 - The deadline for the last states to provide certified results
12/14 - The electoral college meets and votes
12/23 - The deadline for states to deliver results to Congress
01/06 - Congress certified the electoral college results and names the Pres/VP elect.
01/20 - The President and vice president take the oath of office and assume the office

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Reply Projections vs Certfied Results (a timeline) (Original post)
Statistical Nov 2020 OP
elleng Nov 2020 #1

Response to Statistical (Original post)

Fri Nov 6, 2020, 02:52 PM

1. THANKS! Good summary

and conclusion.

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