“U.S. Avoids Nightmare Election Scenarios as Institutions Prove More than Adequate”

Larry Garber of the Carter Center:

To the relief of all believers in democracy, the United States election was conducted without any of the anticipated problems. More than 65 million people cast mail-in ballots and another 35 million voted early in person. Voter turnout during a raging pandemic was approximately 67 percent, the highest in more than 100 years.

Election officials learned well the lessons of a chaotic primary season and delivered an efficient Election Day. Very few irregularities or acts of intimidation were reported, and the counting process for in-person votes at individuals precincts was completed in an expeditious and transparent manner.

As expected, the counting on mail-in ballots required more time than usual. States that permitted the processing of mail-in ballots prior to Election Day reported their absentee returns soon after the polls closed. States that were not authorized to begin processing until Election Day — most notably Pennsylvania — were still counting mail-in ballots five days after the election. However, in all cases, the process was conducted in a transparent manner, with party observers present and livestreaming available for those with the interest and patience to watch.


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