2022 Midterm Elections Megathread (plus important information)

We know a lot of you are very concerned about the US election, and frankly we are too. There’s a lot of disinformation worming its way around online, and we are doing our best to fight it here in /r/news.


Your Voting Rights on Election Day

The FBI is warning that people may try to scam you or lie to you about the date of the election or your polling place. Today, Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day. You can look up your polling place here.

Many states require some form of identification to vote in person. And the laws in your state may have changed in recent years. Make sure to check your local election rules so you know what identification may be required.

If the polls close while you are waiting in line to vote, REMAIN IN LINE. The polling location must let you vote if you were already in line before the polls closed.

If you voted by mail, you can track your ballot here.

You have the right to vote in private and without being intimidated. If you experience voter intimidation, let a poll worker know and then report it to the Election Protection Hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) or the US Department of Justice voting rights hotline (1-800-253-3931). You should also contact your state board of elections.

Not sure what voter intimidation is? The ACLU has a good explainer here.


Here’s a quick FAQ to help you understand the 2022 midterm elections in the United States:

When will we get results?

Experts are predicting that it could take a few days to get the final unofficial vote tallies in some states. FiveThirtyEight has a good breakdown here.

The biggest reason for the expected delay in results this year is due to mail-in ballots – including ballots from military service members – which some states are not allowed to start counting until the polls close. For example, Pennsylvania does not start processing their mail-in ballots until Election Day, even if they’ve received them in advance.

In especially close races, the delays could be longer because it could come down to just a handful of votes.


But all the ballots should be counted on election night!

FALSE. On election night, experts make projections based on statistical probabilities with the data they have. It is normal for it to take weeks to count all the votes. The good news is that most states are optimistic that they can have the unofficial vote count available within the first 72 hours.


Okay – but counting votes after election night will steal the election!

FALSE. Mail in ballots have to be postmarked by Election Day, and many states require that they must be received by Election Day. States have to count all votes. Counting all the votes cast isn’t “stealing” anything: it’s making sure that every vote is counted, just like every other election.


What’s this “red mirage” I keep hearing about?

A “red mirage” is expected in some states where election day votes are counted first. This is because election day voters tend to skew Republican, while early voting and mail-in-ballots tend to skew Democrat. This means that a state, like Pennsylvania, will count those Election Day votes first, which will make it appear like the Republican candidates have a massive lead.

However, as election workers start counting those mail-in-ballots, the Democratic candidates will start gaining ground. This is expected. It’s not fraud. It’s just the votes being counted.


What about the “blue mirage”? I’ve also heard that phrase floating around.

Unlike Pennsylvania, Arizona begins counting votes as they are received. This means that early votes and mail-in-ballots will already be in the process of being counted on Election Day, and when polls close, it will look like the Democratic candidates have a lead.

As the night goes on, you should expect to see Republicans make up ground and you’ll see a “red shift”.

This is why counting all the votes is not a partisan endeavor.


Okay, so which states will have a “red mirage” or a “blue mirage”?

CNN has done a good job of laying all this out and explaining the mirages and shifts we might see this year. But here’s a cheat sheet for you:

Pennsylvania: Likely red to blue

Arizona: Likely blue to red

Georgia: Likely red to blue

Nevada: Unclear

Wisconsin: Likely red to blue

Michigan: Likely red to blue


Are mail-in ballots rife with fraud?

No. Mail-in ballots are very secure and they are legal votes. Those ballots must be cast and post-marked by Election Day. We have been using mail-in ballots since the Civil War, and in 2016, 25% of votes were cast by mail. In 2020, it rose to 46%, largely due to the pandemic. Here’s a handy chart showing how votes have been cast since 1992.

Colorado is almost completely vote by mail and has some of the most secure elections in the country. Check out this helpful vote by mail resource from the Brennan Center. Heck, Ivanka and Jared even voted by mail in the 2020 election.


Are Democrats/Republicans/Aliens/Bigfoot trying to steal the election?

No. Counting the votes is not stealing the election. Americans cast their votes and now we must wait for them all to be counted.


Where can I find the official election results?

The only official results are those certified by state elections officials. While the media can make projections based on ballots counted versus outstanding, state election officials are the authorities. So if you’re not sure about a victory claim you’re seeing in the media or from candidates, check back with the local officials. The National Association of Secretaries of States lets you look up state election officials here.


Help us stop disinformation

We have a zero-tolerance policy for election disinformation.

Please report comments that:

Claim that mail-in ballots are fraudulent.

Claim that the election is being stolen.

Claim that a candidate has won an election before the results have been officially called.

Call for violence or try to organize for violent action.


We’ve got a crazy week ahead of us, but if we all work together, we can do our part to protect the 2022 election.

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