(NEXSTAR) – Polls are now open across the country in the 2022 midterm elections as Americans cast their ballots to decide, among other things, which party will control Congress.
All seats in the US House are up for election this year, along with about a third of the US Senate, and the results of the election will have huge implications for President Joe Biden’s ambitions for the rest of his first term.
Democratic hopes to hold the House are declining, but the president’s party is banking on several close Senate races going their way, allowing Democrats to hold a narrow majority in one of the two chambers. Democrats have held the House of Representatives since the 2018 election during former President Donald Trump’s administration, but an increasingly likely Republican takeover would stall Biden’s agenda.
The Senate, which Democrats hold by the smallest advantage, could go either way. At stake is control over the progression of presidential appointments, such as judges and cabinet officials, as well as legislation. As chief executive, Biden will retain veto power regardless of how control of Congress is demonstrated.
DOJ will monitor polling stations in 24 states
The Ministry of Justice announced on Monday that this will be the case monitoring of polling stations in counties in 24 states to ensure that voting rights laws are followed.
“Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Division of Civil Rights has regularly monitored elections on the ground in jurisdictions across the country to protect the rights of voters,” the DOJ said on its website.
Countries that are on that list are:
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Observers from the Department of Civil Rights and the US Attorney’s Office will join the effort.
“Complaints related to a polling station disruption should always be reported immediately to local election officials (including polling station officials),” according to the DOJ. “Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at the polling station should be reported immediately to local police authorities at the emergency number.”
When will we know the results of the 2022 midterm elections?
When all the votes are finally tallied, it varies from state to state.
Local time is a factor — polls in Hawaii won’t close until 12:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, for example — but there are other variables that will determine when the last ballot will be counted.
Not all states vote the same: some vote only by mail, while others have a mix of in-person and mail-in voting. Others also have early in-person voting.
It’s here no federal government agency it tells the country that won the election outright, and different states count the ballots at different times. This means it may take longer to declare a winner in some places. Different rules on when a recount or runoff might be necessary can also be considered.
Some states, such as Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, for example, do not allow officials to begin validating mail-in votes until Election Day. Other states allow grace periods for counting votes as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
All of this means that we probably won’t know who won every race on election night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.