David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Hot Contests: It May Be A Long Election Night

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The “spin machines” are telling voters and candidates this Election Night could be a long one, with so many hotly contested races across the nation.

This election is an important one.  The balance of power in Congress will be decided by the voters today.  But will we know those results tonight?  If candidates mount legal challenges to a result that doesn’t favor them, it could take days or even weeks.

Challenges, re-counts and lawsuits have become a staple part of American politics.  But with so much on the line tonight, anxious voters are hoping to have answers as soon as possible.

NBC News is reporting even if there are no legal challenges or recounts, it’s likely that the results of several contests will not be clear on the morning of November 3rd. And there are plausible scenarios in which the balance of power in the Senate — where Republicans must net 10 seats to regain the majority — is not known for days after Election Day.

One of those hotly contested races is for The Senate in Illinois.  It’s being called one of the tightest contests in America this year.  The

PHOTO: NBC News / Getty Images

 Republican candidate is pulling anywhere between a two-and a three-point lead over his Democratic challenger. 

In some states, results within a few points of each other would trigger an automatic recount.  But under Illinois’ election laws, a candidate can request a recount under certain circumstances but there would be no automatic recount.

As we learned from the Presidential Election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, and from many races that followed, a candidate could take results of a recount they don’t like a mount a lengthy legal challenge.

But do the recounts and all of the legal “bumbo jumbo” leave a bad taste in voter’s mouths?  What do you think?  Take the on-line poll.

SoundOFF Web Poll

November 2, 2010 - Posted by | News & Current Events

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