KS vs PA: Both counting votes until Friday; national focus not on Midwest

Why Pennsylvania matters more
Kansas Capitol.jpg
Posted at 3:43 AM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 04:43:17-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several states allow for mailed-in ballots to be counted after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3, including Kansas.

Though Kansas votes will be counted through Friday, the nation's eyes are not on Midwest voters.

The focus of national analysts and party leaders is on Pennsylvania, which can also count mailed-in votes through Friday provided they are postmarked correctly.

So why does Pennsylvania matter more than Kansas?

Simply put, Kansas votes predictably.

According to 270 to Win, Kansas has voted Republican for president since Richard Nixon was elected.

Kansas has also elected Republican senators since the 80s, and the majority of representatives are also typically from the GOP.

So, if the trend continues, Kansas' six Electoral College votes will go to President Donald Trump.

As Election Day votes rolled in, major sources already declared Trump the winner in Kansas. Votes may still be rolling in by mail, but analysts have written them off as a likely Republican majority.

Looking at Pennsylvania, more weight is already placed on the outcome of the race there as they hold 20 Electoral College votes. In both Kansas and Pennsylvania, all Electoral College votes go to the majority winner. The only states where that is not true are Nebraska and Maine.

According to 270 to Win, Pennsylvania voters are less predictable.

From 1992 through 2012, the state voted Democrat in the Presidential Election. The streak was broken in 2016 when voters chose Trump, and he won by less than 1 percent. Historically, the state swings back and forth every few election cycles.

Senate, House and governor also swing back and forth between Republican and Democrat in Pennsylvania, making it hard to predict where their 20 votes will land.

The unpredictable nature of Pennsylvania voters along with the state's hefty number of Electoral College votes makes them more important to party leaders, even if all of Kansas' mail-in votes were to come in for former Vice President Joe Biden.

Republicans were already filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania late Tuesday night to get certain mail-in ballots thrown out. The President also called for vote tallies to end on Election Day, likely because analysts believe mail-in votes will favor Biden as they are tallied.

Legal battles likely loom in Pennsylvania as the parties fight for its Electoral College votes, despite the state having similar voting rules to Kansas.

Kansas voters shouldn't worry though. There is a long list of states that accept mail-in ballots after Election Day that are also being overlooked in the Presidential Election as results roll in.

They include:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Washington D.C.
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

Missouri does not accept mail-in ballots after Election Day.

41 Action News is committed to providing comprehensive information on the 2020 primary and general elections with an emphasis on several key issues — the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic and race relations. Count on us to provide news and information to help you make an informed choice at the polls.