I have been communicating with friends and colleagues in Washington about how quickly ballots arrive and are counted in the state. The figures are fascinating, and if it is true that the Washington race may end up being crucial in determining control of the Senate, then the national media has better be prepared to wait for results.
Past history has been that 10% of WA voters return their vote by mail ballots immediately upon receipt. 30-40% of the ballots are returned by the Friday before the election (as of today, 38% of the ballots have been processed), and by Monday, approximately 50% of ballots will have been cast.
The remaining 50% come in Tuesday through Friday. And because Washington is a big military state, UOCAVA ballots arrive for weeks.
The 8pm returns from Washington will be meaningless. Firm conclusions about the Washington Senate race will not be possible until Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest. And it’s quite possible that we’ll have to wait the full 21 days until Washington certifies its results.