20:45 GMT31 October 2020
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    US Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner Elle Weintraub warned on Monday that there’s a “substantial chance” the results of the 2020 presidential election may not be known on the night of the contest because it could take time to count mail-in ballots, of which there are expected to be more than normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Let me just tell everybody, we’re all going to need to take a deep breath and be patient this year, because there’s a substantial chance we are not going to know on election night what the results are,” Weintraub said on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, The Hill reported. 

    She also noted that mail-in absentee voting will likely be more prevalent during this year’s election than in past contests, pointing out that there was an increase in absentee voting during the Kentucky presidential primary on June 23.

    “Probably for the presidency, but maybe for many other races that are important to people, and that's okay. If it takes a little bit longer to count all the votes accurately, that's what we need to do in order to ensure that everyone's vote counts,” she added. 

    US President Donald Trump has been ranting against voting my mail for several months, claiming that the process is dangerous because it can lead to fraudulent behavior.

    “Mail ballots, they cheat,” Trump previously claimed at the White House. “Mail ballots are very dangerous for this country because of cheaters. They go collect them. They are fraudulent in many cases. They have to vote. They should have voter ID, by the way.”

    However, according to Weintraub, an honest election can “absolutely” be held with mail-in voting.

    “It’s been done before. It’s safe. There is no substantial risk of fraud involved in absentee voting,” she noted.

    However, Weintraub did request additional federal funding for states and localities to boost their mail-in voting programs.

    “The entire operation is going to be much more expensive,” Weintraub said. 

    “So far Congress has allocated $400 million, they really need to allocate more money now. I’m very concerned about this, and that is the No. 1 priority right now.”


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