EXPLAINER: Why results aren’t always known on election night


              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Torrance County administrative assistant clerk Kevin Pham introduces a ballot in a counting machine during a testing of election equipment with local candidates and partisan officers in Estancia, N.M., Sept. 29, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File)
            
              FILE - Election worker Donna Young inspects a mail-in ballot for damage at the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters in Sacramento, Calif., June 3, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. Some give local election offices several weeks before Election Day to process mailed ballots, which includes steps that may include checking signatures or ID information. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
            
              FILE - Election workers perform a recount of ballots from the recent Pennsylvania primary election at the Allegheny County Election Division warehouse on the Northside of Pittsburgh, June 1, 2022. Unlike in many other countries, elections in the U.S. are highly decentralized, complex and feature a long list of races on the ballot, from president or Congress all the way down to local ballot measures or town council seats. Rules also vary greatly by state. Some give local election offices several weeks before Election Day to process mailed ballots, which includes steps that may include checking signatures or ID information. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
EXPLAINER: Why results aren’t always known on election night