There’s also likely to be more information about how and why the calls are being made. The Associated Press, which expects to call about 7,000 races up and down the ballot, plans to explain its calls — or lack of them — in real time.

The Times relies on information from The A.P., in addition to analysis from its own election experts, to call races. We will also be bringing back our famous “needle” that shows who is on track to win — but only for three key states where we expect to have enough information about which votes have been counted. (The needle itself does not make the race calls.)

Want to know more? A number of outlets are offering pretty detailed explainers of their race call operations.

Does the president have any legal power himself, through the Department of Justice, or through the court system to curtail state ballot counting at midnight, Nov. 3?

— Norm Goldman

President Trump has recently argued, ignoring the history of every election night, that states should stop counting ballots by the end of Nov. 3. But he cannot prevent states, which manage their own elections, from counting ballots beyond midnight.

No state ever reports final results on election night, even in years where there isn’t a pandemic. And to be clear, Mr. Trump cannot directly dispute the election results in court, but he could challenge voting methods and election procedures in an effort to change the postelection counting process.

Mr. Trump has said that he wanted to get Justice Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court before the election because he expects the court to rule on postelection challenges. This is an extremely unusual occurrence — even if some people still have reserved trauma from the 2000 election, when the Supreme Court stopped Florida’s manual recount, effectively handing the election to George W. Bush.

But last week, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh breathed new life into the Bush v. Gore ruling, writing that the decision could play a role in deciding potential challenges to election rulings from state courts.

Isabella Grullón Paz and Maggie Astor contributed reporting.






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