Delaware: What To Expect On Election Night

Voters in President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware did most of their civic duty during the September primary, which tends to be where the competition in this true blue state happens. And it was no run-of-the-mill primary.

In the most conspicuous race, political newcomer Lydia York knocked off incumbent Auditor Kathy McGuiness, who was awaiting sentencing on misdemeanor corruption charges at the time as the first statewide elected official in Delaware history to be convicted in office.

York now faces Republican Janice Lorrah, also a political newcomer, in a general election that isn't likely to change Democrats' firm grip on power. Democrats hold both U.S. Senate seats, state's lone U.S. House seat, the governor's office and 14 of the 21 state Senate seats and 26 of 41 seats in the Assembly.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester is running for reelection against Republican Lee Murphy and Libertarian Cody McNutt. Attorney general and state treasurer are also on the ballot this year.

Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:

ELECTION NIGHT

Polls close at 8 p.m. ET.

HOW DELAWARE VOTES

Two years ago, Democrats won the state's presidential, Senate and U.S. House contests by double digits.

In that 2020 general election, just under a third of all ballots cast were absentees.

DECISION NOTES

The AP is tabulating the at-large U.S. House seat, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor and all legislative races.

The AP does not make projections and will only declare a winner when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap.

Should a candidate declare victory or offer a concession before the AP calls a race, we will cover newsworthy developments in our reporting. In doing so, we will make clear that the AP has not declared a winner and explain why.

The AP may call a statewide or U.S. House race in which the margin between the top two candidates is 0.5% or less, if we determine the lead is too large for a potential recount to change the outcome.

The AP will not call down-ballot races on election night if the margin between the top two candidates is less than 2%. AP will revisit those races later in the week to confirm there aren’t enough outstanding votes left to count that could change the outcome.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?

Q: WHAT’S CHANGED SINCE THE PANDEMIC ELECTION OF 2020?

A: The state passed laws this year allowing universal voting by mail and Election Day registration, but the Delaware Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional last month.

Q: HOW LONG DOES COUNTING USUALLY TAKE?

A: Delaware counts quickly. In the 2020 general election, AP first reported results at 8:16 p.m. ET and 90% of results by 10:15 p.m.

Officials can start counting absentee ballots the Friday before Election Day but can’t release those counts until after polls close.

Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER TUESDAY?

A: Candidates for statewide offices can request a recount if the margin is the lesser of 1,000 votes or half of 1% of votes cast. For legislative and county races, those same margins trigger an automatic recount.

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