We know when the polls are scheduled to close on Nov. 3. Little else is certain. Here’s what state officials say are their targets for reporting unofficial initial results in an election with unprecedented early voting, along with our analysis on how to regard those first tallies.

The polls close at:

6 PM

7

8

9

10

11

12 AM

1

EST

NH

ME

VT

WA

MA

MT

MN

ND

RI

OR

NY

WI

ID

CT

SD

MI

WY

PA

NJ

IA

OH

NE

DE

IN

IL

NV

WV

UT

VA

MD

CO

CA

MO

KY

KS

DC

NC

TN

SC

OK

AR

AZ

NM

GA

AL

MS

LA

TX

FL

AK

HI

6 PM

7

8

9

10

11

12 AM

1

The polls close at

EST

NH

ME

VT

WA

MT

ND

MN

OR

MA

NY

WI

SD

RI

ID

MI

CT

WY

PA

NJ

IA

OH

NE

DE

IN

NV

IL

WV

MD

UT

VA

CO

DC

KY

CA

MO

KS

NC

TN

SC

OK

AR

AZ

NM

GA

AL

MS

LA

TX

FL

AK

HI

6 PM

7

8

9

10

11

12 AM

1

The polls close at

EST

NH

ME

VT

WA

MT

ND

MN

OR

MA

NY

WI

SD

RI

ID

MI

CT

WY

PA

NJ

IA

OH

DE

NE

IN

NV

IL

WV

MD

VA

UT

CO

DC

KY

CA

MO

KS

NC

TN

SC

OK

AK

AZ

NM

GA

AL

MS

LA

TX

FL

AK

HI

7

8

9

10

11

12 AM

1

6 PM

The polls close at

EST

NH

ME

VT

WA

MT

ND

MN

OR

MA

NY

WI

SD

RI

ID

MI

CT

WY

PA

NJ

IA

OH

NE

DE

IN

NV

IL

WV

MD

VA

UT

CO

DC

KY

CA

MO

KS

NC

TN

SC

OK

AR

AZ

NM

GA

AL

MS

LA

TX

FL

AK

HI

Jump to states with polls closing at:

6:00 PM | 7:00 | 7:30 | 8:00 | 8:30 | 9:00 | 10:00 | 11:00 | 12:00 AM | 1:00

In past years, media organizations called many races on election night because the vast majority of Americans voted in person on Election Day. This year is different; some 50 to 70 percent of ballots are likely to have been cast by mail. President Trump has told allies he wants to declare victory on election night if early results indicate he is leading. But elections depend on final, not fast, results, as certified by states.

Mail-in ballots require meticulous hand-counting in many places. Some states, including several battlegrounds, accept ballots up to a week later. In close races, states may take days or weeks for states to count every ballot and determine the victor.

Early results may still be substantial. In Florida, for instance, early votes are counted as they arrive, so initial results could include millions of mail-in ballots. In other states, such as Pennsylvania, election officials can’t begin processing mail-in ballots until Election Day, so a statewide tally could take days. Processing the ballot includes steps short of tabulating them, such as removing them from the envelope, confirming that the voter is eligible and that the signature matches, and scanning them. These steps vary by state.

Here’s our guide to when final polls close in every state, and what to look for throughout the night:

States with polls closing...

BY 6:00 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

Indiana (first)

Likely Rep.

11

8

Kentucky (first)

Solid Rep.

BY 6:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Indiana (first)

11

Likely Rep.

8

Kentucky (first)

Solid Rep.

BY 6:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Indiana (first)

11

Likely Rep.

Kentucky (first)

Solid Rep.

8

BY 7:00 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

Florida (first)

Tossup

29

Georgia

Tossup

16

Kentucky (final)

Solid Rep.

8

Likely Rep.

Indiana (final)

11

New Hampshire

(first)

Lean Dem.

4

Likely Rep.

South Carolina

9

Vermont

Solid Dem.

3

Lean Dem.

Virginia

13

BY 7:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Florida (first)

Tossup

29

Georgia

Tossup

16

Kentucky (final)

Solid Rep.

8

Likely Rep.

Indiana (final)

11

New Hampshire (first)

Lean Dem.

4

Likely Rep.

South Carolina

9

Vermont

Solid Dem.

3

Virginia

Lean Dem.

13

BY 7:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Florida (first)

Tossup

29

Georgia

Tossup

16

Kentucky (final)

Solid Rep.

8

New Hampshire (first)

Lean Dem.

4

Likely Rep.

Indiana (final)

11

Likely Rep.

South Carolina

9

Vermont

Solid Dem.

3

Lean Dem.

Virginia

13

Note: voting hours have been extended for two polling places in DeKalb County, Georgia.

  • First results are expected in Florida within the hour; they could number in the millions. Nearly 9 million votes were cast early in person and by mail. Florida is one of the few swing states that allow the counting of those votes a week or more before Election Day.
  • First results are also expected in Georgia within the hour. More than 2 million people voted early and in person, and more than 1 million voted by mail. The state allows those ballots to be processed as they are received, but they cannot be counted until the polls have closed on Election Day.
  • New Hampshire expects to have preliminary results for most of the state on election night. While absentee voting is up this year, most of the vote is expected to be cast on Election Day.

BY 7:30 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

North Carolina

Tossup

15

18

Ohio

Tossup

5

West Virginia

Solid Rep.

BY 7:30 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

North Carolina

15

Tossup

18

Ohio

Tossup

West Virginia

5

Solid Rep.

BY 7:30 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

North Carolina

15

Tossup

18

Ohio

Tossup

West Virginia

5

Solid Rep.

Note: voting hours have been extended for four precincts in North Carolina.

  • First results are expected in Ohio within the hour and in North Carolina by 8:15 p.m., where hours were extended at four polling places that opened late on Tuesday morning. Both states permit mail ballots to be processed before Election Day but not counted until the polls close.
  • North Carolina will report results from early in-person voting and mail ballots first, and Election Day voting will be counted last. The early vote nearly surpassed all voting in 2016, so the first results reported may appear substantial. Officials say they plan to report 95 percent of the vote on election night. The state counts mail-in ballots that are received up until Nov. 12.
  • Ohio officials say they plan to release preliminary and unofficial results on election night that combine all votes, no matter how or when they were cast. All 88 counties are required to report the results of early and absentee voting, which has numbered about 2.5 million, to the secretary of state by 8 p.m. on election night. Ohio accepts ballots until Nov. 13.

BY 8:00 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

Alabama

9

Solid Rep.

Connecticut

Solid Dem.

7

D.C.

Solid Dem.

3

Delaware

Solid Dem.

3

Florida (final)

Tossup

29

20

Illinois

Solid Dem.

6

Kansas (first)

Likely Rep.

Maine

See note

See note

Maryland

Solid Dem.

10

10

Massachusetts

Solid Dem.

Lean Dem.

16

Michigan (first)

6

Mississippi

Solid Rep.

Missouri

Likely Rep.

10

New Hampshire

(final)

4

Lean Dem.

New Jersey

Solid Dem.

14

North Dakota

(first)

3

Solid Rep.

7

Oklahoma

Solid Rep.

Pennsylvania

Lean Dem.

20

Rhode Island

Solid Dem.

4

South Dakota

(first)

3

Solid Rep.

Tennessee

11

Solid Rep.

Texas (first)

38

Tossup

Note: Maine allocates two electors to the statewide winner (likely Democrat) and one elector for each congressional district (one solid Democrat and one tossup).

BY 8:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

9

Alabama

Solid Rep.

7

Connecticut

Solid Dem.

3

D.C.

Solid Dem.

3

Delaware

Solid Dem.

Florida (final)

Tossup

29

20

Illinois

Solid Dem.

6

Kansas (first)

Likely Rep.

Maine

See note

See note

Maryland

Solid Dem.

10

10

Massachusetts

Solid Dem.

Michigan (first)

Lean Dem.

16

6

Mississippi

Solid Rep.

Missouri

Likely Rep.

10

4

New Hampshire (final)

Lean Dem.

New Jersey

Solid Dem.

14

North Dakota (first)

Solid Rep.

3

7

Oklahoma

Solid Rep.

Pennsylvania

Lean Dem.

20

4

Rhode Island

Solid Dem.

11

South Dakota (first)

Solid Rep.

Tennessee

11

Solid Rep.

Texas (first)

Tossup

38

Note: Maine allocates two electors to the statewide winner (likely Democrat) and one elector for each congressional district (one solid Democrat and one tossup).

BY 8:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

9

Alabama

Solid Rep.

7

Connecticut

Solid Dem.

3

D.C.

Solid Dem.

3

Delaware

Solid Dem.

Florida (final)

Tossup

29

20

Illinois

Solid Dem.

6

Kansas (first)

Likely Rep.

Maine

See note

See note

10

Maryland

Solid Dem.

10

Massachusetts

Solid Dem.

Michigan (first)

Lean Dem.

16

Solid Rep.

6

Mississippi

Missouri

Likely Rep.

10

4

New Hampshire (final)

Lean Dem.

New Jersey

Solid Dem.

14

3

North Dakota (first)

Solid Rep.

Solid Rep.

7

Oklahoma

20

Pennsylvania

Lean Dem.

4

Rhode Island

Solid Dem.

3

South Dakota (first)

Solid Rep.

Tennessee

11

Solid Rep.

Texas (first)

38

Tossup

Note: Maine allocates two electors to the statewide winner (likely Democrat) and one elector for each congressional district (one solid Democrat and one tossup).

  • First results are expected from Texas within the hour, and the bulk of unofficial results should be in on election night. Texas’s early vote surpassed all of its vote in 2016; those early votes and absentee votes are expected to be tabulated first in most counties.
  • First results from Pennsylvania are expected within the hour, for Election Day voting. However, state law does not allow processing mail-in ballots until Election Day. And officials in some counties have said they will not begin tallying those early votes until Nov. 4. So how some 2.5 million voted may not be known for days.
  • First results from Michigan are expected within the hour, but preliminary results are expected to be sparse on election night. By law, local officials cannot begin processing processing mail ballots until Nov. 2. And that is only for jurisdictions larger than 25,000. Other locales have to wait until Election Day.

BY 8:30 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

6

Arkansas

Solid Rep.

BY 8:30 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Arkansas

6

Solid Rep.

BY 8:30 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Arkansas

6

Solid Rep.

BY 9:00 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

11

Arizona

Lean Dem.

Colorado

9

Lean Dem.

Kansas (final)

Likely Rep.

6

8

Louisiana

Solid Rep.

Michigan (final)

Lean Dem.

16

Minnesota

10

Lean Dem.

Nebraska

See note

See note

New Mexico

Solid Dem.

5

New York

Solid Dem.

29

North Dakota

(final)

Solid Rep.

3

South Dakota

(final)

Solid Rep.

3

38

Texas (final)

Tossup

Lean Dem.

10

Wisconsin

3

Wyoming

Solid Rep.

Note: Nebraska allocates two electors to the statewide winner (solid Republican.) and one elector for each congressional district (one lean Democrat and two solid Republican).

BY 9:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

ELECTORAL VOTES

RATING

11

Arizona

Lean Dem.

Colorado

9

Lean Dem.

Kansas (final)

Likely Rep.

6

8

Louisiana

Solid Rep.

Michigan (final)

Lean Dem.

16

Minnesota

10

Lean Dem.

Nebraska

See note

See note

New Mexico

Solid Dem.

5

New York

Solid Dem.

29

North Dakota (final)

Solid Rep.

3

South Dakota (final)

Solid Rep.

3

38

Texas (final)

Tossup

Lean Dem.

10

Wisconsin

3

Wyoming

Solid Rep.

Note: Nebraska allocates two electors to the statewide winner (solid Republican) and one elector for each congressional district (one lean Democrat and two solid Republican).

BY 9:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

11

Arizona

Lean Dem.

Colorado

9

Lean Dem.

Kansas (final)

Likely Rep.

6

8

Louisiana

Solid Rep.

Michigan (final)

Lean Dem.

16

10

Minnesota

Lean Dem.

Nebraska

See note

See note

New Mexico

Solid Dem.

5

New York

Solid Dem.

29

North Dakota (final)

Solid Rep.

3

South Dakota (final)

Solid Rep.

3

Texas (final)

Tossup

38

Lean Dem.

10

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Solid Rep.

3

Note: Nebraska allocates two electors to the statewide winner (solid Republican) and one elector for each congressional district (one lean Democrat and two solid Republican).

  • First results are expected in Wisconsin and Minnesota within the hour.
  • In Minnesota, mail votes can be processed as soon as they are received, and officials expect to release preliminary results on election night that combine early in-person, mail and Election Day votes.
  • Unofficial results for Wisconsin are not likely on election night. Local and county officials cannot begin processing some 1.7 million early votes until Election Day. Milwaukee’s top election official has said preliminary results there may not be available until near dawn on Wednesday.

BY 10:00 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

4

Idaho (first)

Solid Rep.

Tossup

6

Iowa

Montana

3

Likely Rep.

6

Nevada

Lean Dem.

Likely Rep.

6

Utah

BY 10:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Idaho (first)

Solid Rep.

4

Tossup

6

Iowa

Montana

Likely Rep.

3

Lean Dem.

6

Nevada

6

Likely Rep.

Utah

BY 10:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

ELECTORAL VOTES

RATING

4

Idaho (first)

Solid Rep.

Iowa

Tossup

6

Montana

3

Likely Rep.

6

Nevada

Lean Dem.

Likely Rep.

6

Utah

Note: voting hours have been extended in Clark County, Nevada.

  • In Arizona, the early vote has approached the state total of 2.7 million in 2016. Those ballots can be processed and counted before Election Day, so a preliminary count on those may be available shortly after 10 p.m.
  • First results for Nevada are expected within the hour. The early vote is close to surpassing the state total of 1.1 million in 2016. Nevada was one of ten states that mailed ballots to every active voter this year, and officials could begin counting those ballots 15 days before Election Day. More complete returns will not be known until at least Nov. 10, the final date for return of mailed ballots, provided they were postmarked by Election Day.
  • First results for Iowa are expected within the hour. State officials have said they expect to have extensive preliminary results on election night because they could begin processing absentee ballots earlier. But a final unofficial count is not likely for another week. Mail ballots are valid if received up until Nov. 9, if they are postmarked by Election Day.

BY 11:00 PM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

California

Solid Dem.

55

Idaho (final)

Solid Rep.

4

7

Oregon

Solid Dem.

12

Washington

Solid Dem.

BY 11:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

California

Solid Dem.

55

Idaho (final)

Solid Rep.

4

7

Oregon

Solid Dem.

12

Washington

Solid Dem.

BY 11:00 PM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

California

Solid Dem.

55

Idaho (final)

Solid Rep.

4

7

Oregon

Solid Dem.

12

Washington

Solid Dem.

BY 12:00 AM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

Alaska (first)

Likely Rep.

3

Hawaii

Solid Dem.

4

BY 12:00 AM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Likely Rep.

4

Alaska (first)

Solid Dem.

4

Hawaii

BY 12:00 AM EASTERN

STATE

ELECTORAL VOTES

RATING

Alaska (first)

Likely Rep.

3

Hawaii

Solid Dem.

4

BY 1:00 AM EASTERN

ELECTORAL

VOTES

STATE

RATING

Likely Rep.

3

Alaska (final)

BY 1:00 AM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Likely Rep.

3

Alaska (final)

BY 1:00 AM EASTERN

STATE

RATING

ELECTORAL VOTES

Alaska (final)

Likely Rep.

3

Kate Rabinowitz contributed to this report.