How elections are “called” before every vote is counted, explained - Vox  

written by Dylan Matthews, Kay Steiger. added about 1 year ago by @icyflame ARCHIVES

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“The key variable in all this as tabulation nears completion is, how many votes are left?” Tranter says. “If you know how many votes are left you can determine if there are enough votes to move a second-place candidate into first place, and if there is not, then you can assume the current vote leader will win.” On Tranter’s team, there’s a unanimity rule: All three race call team members assigned to a particular race have to agree that it’s impossible for the trailing candidate to make up the difference in order to call that race. Is it possible they’ll miscall some races? Sure: They expect to call 500 to 600 close races on election night, and even a team with 99.8 percent accuracy would miss a race in that situation.

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