An election is a complex thing — and even more so when it's multiplied by 50 states, as the U.S. voting system is. There's a lot to explain.
Here you'll find links to some of the work done by The Associated Press ahead of the 2022 midterm elections that explains how the electoral process works. And with them, we hope, the picture of this year's voting will come into sharper focus.
Winners might or might not be declared in the hours after polls close on Election Day, but one thing is certain: The Associated Press will count all the votes and declare winners for thousands of races around the United States. Why has The Associated Press tallied votes and declared winners in U.S. elections since the middle of the 19th century? Because the nation's founders established no single entity to add it all up. How does AP do it? With the efforts of thousands of journalists, researchers and race callers.
Despite conspiracy theories about election fraud and the failure of voting machines after the 2020 presidential election — baseless claims hat have made portions of the American people nervous about the veracity of election results — there is no evidence to support anything but valid vote results. The machines worked.
Mail-in and absentee ballots are tightly monitored and protected.
Laws for mail-in voting are so specific that even rules for who can drop off a ballot for you are codified. It's different from state to state.
Ballots that are damaged get scrutinized and fixed — if they can be. Remember Florida's “hanging chads" in the 2000 presidential election? Every state has methods for making sure every vote that can be counted is counted.
Trump's false election claims have stirred up some fervent followers and that could have an effect at polling places around the country. If you haven't already voted, here's what you could expect on Election Day.
As for election night, here's how it might go down in each of the 50 states.
Check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play in the 2022 midterm elections. And follow the AP’s coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.