Analysis: It's not magic, it's math. Here's how CNN makes election projections

October 17, 2020 at 13:21

Separately, I also spoke with Jennifer Agiesta, CNN's director of polling and election analytics, who runs the network's decision desk.
Some states don't begin processing mailing ballots until Election Day, so it could take a little longer.
And that happens throughout the night, and then it will continue happening and always does after election night is over because votes continue to come in.
It is possible and we tend to make projections early on election night if the race is not close particularly in those battleground states, so it is possible.
But it is entirely possible that there won't be a projection on election night.
It just may not be on election night.
If you've watched CNN's election night, John King at the magic wall spends an awful lot of election night explaining why we haven't projected a winner in a particular state.
So, I would give that advice to everybody on election night.
In many states, they may have time to do it on election night.
In other states, because of state election laws where they can't begin counting absentee ballots until Election Day, just give them time.
First, the increase in vote by mail, and the number of ballots which may have been mailed in time for Election Day, but are received by election officials afterward.
There is no way to know on election night exactly how many of those there are.