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Florida man

There will likely be more information on how and why the calls are made. The Associated Press, which expects to call about 7,000 races to get on and off the poll, plans to explain its calls – or lack thereof – in real time.

The Times is relying on PA information, in addition to analysis from its own election experts, to call races. We will also bring back our famous “needle” which shows who is on course to win – but only for three key states where we hope to have enough information on the votes that were counted. (The needle itself does not make the run calls.)

Want to know more? A number of outlets offer fairly detailed explanations of their race call operations.

Does the president himself have legal power, through the Justice Department or the judiciary, to reduce the counting of state ballots to midnight on November 3?

– Norm Goldman

President Trump recently argued, ignoring the history of every election night, that states should stop counting ballots by the end of November 3. But it cannot prevent states, which run their own elections, from counting the ballots after midnight.

No state ever reports final results on election night, even in years when there is no pandemic. And to be clear, Mr. Trump cannot directly challenge election results in court, but he could challenge voting methods and election procedures in an attempt to change the post-election counting process.

Mr Trump has said he wants Justice Amy Coney Barrett elected to the Supreme Court ahead of the election because he expects the court to rule on post-election challenges. This is an extremely unusual event – although some people still reserved the trauma of the 2000 election, when the Supreme Court stopped the Florida manual recount, thereby handing the election over to George W. Bush.

But last week Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh breathed new life into Bush v. Gore, writing that the ruling could play a role in deciding potential challenges to state court election decisions.

Isabella Grullón Paz and Maggie Astor contributed reporting.