MS Risk Blog

US Presidential Election: What to Expect on Polling Day

Posted on in United States title_rule

Today, Americans will go to the polls to elect the 45th President of the United States – Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump.

Voting begins at 6 AM on the day and the first polls will close at midnight UK time (00:00 GMT; 19:00 EST). The first projections from states will follow shortly afterwards based on exit polls. The two candidates need to win 270 of the 538 Electoral College votes in order to win the White House.

The earliest time that the election could be “called” for one of the candidates by US TV networks is likely to be around 4 AM UK time – both the 2008 and 2012 elections were called for Barack Obama at around that time. Once the election has been called, the defeated candidate will call the victor in order to concede the presidential race, before both make speeches during the night to their supporters. There is however a possibility that the result could still not be known at the end of election day, as occurred during the 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. If the result is too close to call without counting every vote, or if legal battles over election procedures are taking place, it could delay the result or force a recount. In the even that neither candidate has a majority of Electoral College votes, the result would be sent to the House of Representatives. Delegations from each state would then cast one vote, with the candidate winning the most states declared the winner. This has occurred on two occasions

Here is a list of the timings for polls closing on election day (UK time):


0:30 AM

1 AM

1:30 AM

2 AM

3 AM

 4 AM

6 AM

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