OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — If control of the U.S. House comes down to any of the competitive congressional races in Washington state and California, the American public might have to wait a while to learn the outcome.
Three states conduct all elections by mail, but Washington is the only one of those that allows ballots to be postmarked on Election Day. The system usually leaves about half of the vote outstanding at the end of the night, making it impossible to quickly know the winner of close races.
Californians have the option of voting by mail as long as ballots are postmarked by Election Day and received no later than three days after that. In past elections, some close races in California took several days to be called.