LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Is anybody tired yet?
Most of the election week, Americans watched as results trickled in and as of Friday night, they were still coming.
So what exactly is going on around the nation? Those who know the ins and outs of elections contend the process is just fine, but it’s the way that process is being received that’s the problem. Election night ran smoothly in Kentucky and Indiana, but what’s happening in states like Pennsylvania and Georgia?
Those who know election laws say nothing out of the ordinary is happening because each state sets its own rules. The nation is divided and wants results fast, but COVID-19 prompted states to allow everyone access and ample time to vote, leading to a record number of mail-in ballots.
“Different states have different rules about how they process their absentee ballots,” said University of Louisville Visiting Associate Professor of Law Eugene Mazo.
He said that in some states, mail-in ballots must be received on the day of the election, but other states like North Carolina put the deadline more than a week after the election, which is why the Tar Heel State doesn’t have final results.
In Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court extended the deadline to receive votes three days after the election.
“Most scholars contacted Pennsylvania and said, ‘You know, you had 25 percent of the people voting absentee in the last election, and it’s going to be 75 or 80 percent this election, you need to start counting ballots earlier,’" Mazo said.
Partisan gridlock can be blamed for that early vote count not happening. Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled legislature and the Democratic governor couldn’t agree, so vote counting didn’t start until election day.
“We knew it was going to take them three or four days, and that’s exactly what happened," Mazo said.
In states like Georgia -- with big, urban areas like Atlanta -- it takes longer to count votes; many of those areas tend to skew Democrat, and that’s why more votes for Democrats are coming in later. Mazo said the media’s need to report first and the public’s need to know now is part of the problem.
“The media likes to report something because people are checking their phones every single minute," he said. "We don’t have late vote counting, we don’t have illegal votes; there is no phenomenon on voter fraud in the United States. There are no prosecutions of it, and the ones where there are, are so rare compared to the billions of votes that are cast, it’s not a phenomenon.”
Mazo said claiming voter fraud without evidence is a dangerous position to take.