Due to the pandemic, we have seen a surge in voting by mail. Although we’re seeing increases from both parties, the majority of Republican voters are expected to vote on Election Day, while the majority of Democratic voters are expected to vote-by-mail.
The ‘red mirage’ refers to a scenario in which the Republican candidate is leading in the polls on Election night. This could happen because votes cast in person on Election day may be counted faster than mail in ballots, which in some cases, can not begin to be counted until polls close on Election nightMost Republican voters have said they will vote on Election Day, while the opposite is true for most Democratic voters. Because of the differences in voter preference the country may go to bed on Election night with the Republican candidate in the lead. However, it’s important to remember that not all ballots will have been counted.
Due to an influx in vote by mail ballots this election and rules in some states that prohibit mail in ballots from being counted until Election day, we can expect that it will take more time to count these ballots. The ‘blue shift’ refers to a scenario where in the days after the election, as mail-in-ballots are being counted, the Democratic candidate closes the gap and even overtakes the lead.
One thing must be made clear- elections do not end until every ballot has been counted because our democracy is worth the wait.