Let’s face it, we’re all pretty accustomed to instant gratification at this juncture.
Our news cycle shifted to 24-hour updates years ago. We’ve all but abandoned paying bills by mail. We spend our days in near continuous contact with friends, family and coworkers. And two-day shipping has become the minimum standard.
We’ve also become a bit impatient about our election results in recent decades. Think about it, the cable TV news host jabbering in front of a color-coded map of the United States is a somewhat new invention. Those hours of pontificating over tiny moves in vote counts spread over a half dozen hours wouldn’t exist if a healthy cadre of Americans weren’t locked-on, waiting to see which team wins.
But this year promises to be a bit different. Enough different to trigger quite a bit of hand-wringing.
The avalanche of mailed ballots in nearly every precinct, in nearly every state, this year has many elections clerks warning of a slow road to a complete count. Some states warn it could be several days before they have a reliable tally for the presidential election.
We know. It’s frustrating.
There’s something satisfying about putting the newspaper to bed — as we did in 2016 at about 3 a.m. — knowing the election is over and winners declared. There’s also something satisfying about opening a newspaper the morning after an election to learn how voters picked.
That impending incompletion is a bit unnerving. Not knowing the outcome is stressful.
We all endured a years-long election cycle, listened to the platforms, stomached the debates, cast our ballots. We want to know the outcome as badly as you.
But we needn’t look too far into history to see times when results of a presidential election dragged on for days or weeks. Some of us vividly remember the 2000 election when George W. Bush was declared the winner on Dec. 12 after a legal battle over Florida ballots that reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
So, as Election Day dawns, we come to you with our plan.
Record-Eagle journalists will hit the streets today the same way we always do on Election Day. We will talk with voters, clerks, neighbors and candidates. We will report what we find. Then, as is our habit every Election Day, we will stuff our faces with stale pizza and wait for numbers to roll in.
We will report those numbers both online and in the newspaper as soon as we receive them. Some likely will arrive hours after polls close, and will be delivered to your doorstep or inbox the next morning.
The rest, we will report those as they come, whether the next day or next week.