Over 50% of Americans won’t have finalized election results until three weeks after the election

Welcome to the Monday, October 17, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Here’s when your state will finalize its election results
  2. This week’s major voter participation dates and deadlines
  3. Explore Mississippi’s general election ballot

Here’s when your state will finalize its election results

After voters cast their ballots, election officials begin the process of tabulating and eventually finalizing, or certifying, the election results. 

Each state has its own deadline that is generally fixed by state law. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to look far to find out when your state will finalize its results. Here are our findings:

  • Five states have certification deadlines within one week of the election. Delaware’s is the earliest: Nov. 10.
  • In 14 states, the certification deadlines fall between two and three weeks after the election (Nov. 23-29).
  • Looking at just the 50 states, more than 50% of the U.S. population lives in states with certification deadlines more than three weeks after the election.
  • Five states—Hawaii, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee—do not have fixed certification deadlines.

View more state-specific information here.

The two terms you might hear the most during the finalization process are canvassing and certification

  • Canvassing generally refers to how state and local officials confirm the validity of ballots cast in an election.
  • Certification is the process officials use to formalize the election results based on that canvas.

Some states, localities, and commentators might use the two terms interchangeably to describe the general process of counting ballots and formalizing results.

Immediately after the election, you’ll begin to hear commentators discuss unofficial vote totals. These totals remain unofficial until after the results are certified. When an election has a large enough margin of victory, those unofficial totals are often enough to determine who won and lost. But close races might go uncalled until official, certified results are released.

To stay up-to-date with changes to laws affecting election certification, and any other aspect of the electoral process, be sure to visit our election legislation tracker and subscribe to our weekly digest.

Use the link below to learn more about how election results are finalized and see more details on the specific dates by state.

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This week’s major voter participation dates and deadlines

Election Day is 22 days away, but there are plenty of important dates and deadlines coming up between now and Nov. 8. Here’s a look at the major voter participation deadlines taking place between Oct. 17 and 22.

Early voting begins in nine states this week:

Click here to learn more about early voting in your state.

Voter registration deadlines are coming up in 11 states and Washington, D.C.:

Click here to learn more about voter registration deadlines in your state.

Remember: you can check out our 2022 Election Help Desk for answers to the most frequently asked questions about voting, election results reporting, and post-election issues.

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Explore Mississippi’s general election ballot

Today is the 35th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Mississippi, the Magnolia State!

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Ohio
Week Six: South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee
Week Seven: Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Alabama, Utah

On the ballot in Mississippi

At the federal level, Mississippians will elect four U.S. Representatives. Three incumbents are on the ballot. U.S. Rep. Steve Palazzo lost to Mike Ezell in a Republican primary runoff earlier this year.

Mississippi is one of four states—along with Louisiana, New Jersey, and Virginia—that hold state-level elections in odd-numbered years, so no state executive or legislative offices are on the ballot this year.

Four intermediate appellate court positions are up for election, one of which is contested. We are also covering school board elections in the DeSoto County School District.

Redistricting highlights

The number of U.S. House districts in Mississippi remained the same at four following the 2020 census.

Congressional elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what Mississippi’s congressional map looked like before and after the 2020 census:

You can interact with our map comparison tools by visiting our Mississippi redistricting page here.

Partisan balance

  • Both of Mississippi’s U.S. Senators—Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker—are Republicans.
  • Of the state’s four U.S. House districts, Democrats hold one and Republicans hold three.
  • Mississippi has had a Republican governor since 2004.
  • Republicans hold a 36-16 majority in the state Senate and a 76-42-3 majority in the state House.
  • With a Republican governor and majorities in both legislative chambers, Mississippi is one of 23 Republican trifectas, a status it has held since 2012.
  • In addition to the governor, Mississippi has a Republican attorney general and secretary of state, making it one of 23 states with a Republican triplex.

Key races

  • State House District 37: Andy Boyd faces David Chism in a special election to serve the remainder of Rep. Lynn Wright’s (R) unexpired term. Special elections in Mississippi are nonpartisan, meaning candidates will appear on the ballot without party labels. Chism ran for the seat in a 2020 special election, losing to Wright 63% to 37%.
  • DeSoto County Schools: two of the board’s six seats are up for election. This is one of the more than 400 school board races we are tracking this November where candidates or local media have brought up issues relating to race in education, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and/or sex and gender in schools. Learn more about our school board conflicts coverage here.

Ballot measures

There are no statewide ballot measures in Mississippi this year.

In Mississippi, 41 measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Thirty-two were approved, and eight were defeated.


  • Polls are open on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mississippi requires voters to present identification when voting. For more information, click here.
  • Mississippi does not allow early voting.
  • Absentee/mail-in voting is available to certain voters who cannot vote in person on Election Day for an eligible reason. Click here for a list of those reasons. These ballots must be either returned in person or postmarked by Election Day.
  • The voter registration deadline was Oct. 10.

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