"Be patient" and "respect the process" as mail-in ballots will take more time to count than usual this year, urged the chairs of the Dallas County Democratic and Republican parties in a joint statement Monday.
There have been twice as many, or more, early voting mail-in ballots in each of the four major counties in North Texas. Statewide record voter turnout and extra COVID-19 safety measures will also likely contribute to the lengthier process.
In the statement, Chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party Carol Donovan, and Chair of the Dallas County Republican Party Rodney Anderson reminded people that Texas law allows mail-in ballots to arrive after Election Day and still count, such as those from overseas military personnel.
Election officials can still fully canvass all the ballots and then certify the results after Election Day, even with later-arriving ballots and provisional ballots, the chairs said. The Texas Legislature set those timelines and it has been law in Texas for years.
"When ballots are being counted after Nov. 3, it means our election officials are following the law," the statement said.
"We may not know the winner of the presidential election, and possibly many down-ballot races, on Nov. 3 and, perhaps, for a while after that," the chairs said. "We encourage everyone to be patient, respect the process and respect these election workers from both parties while they do their jobs. It means democracy is working."
The party chairs also asked for patience specifically from the public, government officials, the news media, political parties and candidates.
"Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it is essential that they take the time to make sure every legally cast vote is counted," the statement said. "Remember: a complete and accurate ballot count is more important than a fast ballot count."
The statement also mentioned how passions are running high, but that it's "essential to remember that our country has held successful elections in both good and challenging times, and this election is no different."