Big Books & Bold Ideas with Kerri Miller

Election night could become election week this year

A person puts a ballot in a box.
Voter Bo Carlock drops her ballot in the ballot box outside Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services in Minneapolis on Aug. 11.
Tom Baker for MPR News

Here’s how presidential elections normally work: Votes are cast on the first Tuesday in November. Ballots are counted. And usually, sometime late that night, a winner is announced.

Not this year.

Election officials are expecting a big bump in mail-in ballots, which take longer to count. Some experts think up to half of all ballots cast this year will be done by mail. That means it could be days or even weeks before we know if President Donald Trump won a second term or if Democratic contender Joe Biden unseated him.

Thursday at 9 a.m., MPR News host Kerri Miller will talk with two voting experts about what to expect on election night 2020. 


  • Barry Burden, political science professor and director of the Election Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Kat Calvin, founder and executive director of Spread the Vote and co-host of Vote! The Podcast.

Correction (Sept. 17, 2020): A previous version of this story misspelled Barry Burden’s name. The story has been updated.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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