I would like to know where all the US votes go during the 2020 general election? I am a data analyst by training and I would like to perform my own analysis on these data. News searches right now are completely inundated with headlines about the election, making it difficult to google for how this process works.

I'm curious how a member of the public such as myself would gain access to this data to perform my own aggregates and analysis in real time just like the news networks.

So that being said:

  • Where do all the US state vote tabulations go officially?
  • 2
    Welcome to Politics SE! You are asking a lot of questions here. Please limit each post to a single question. Otherwise, you risk your question being closed for being too broad.
    – Joe C
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 15:45
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    Edison Research (edisonresearch.com) and the Associated Press (ap.org/en-us/topics/politics/elections/election-services) aggregate semi-official local election totals for real-time reporting by the news media. Beyond that, the official results aren't due for weeks. Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 15:50
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    Need to remember that there is not a single election but 51 different elections each one with their own rules.
    – Joe W
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 15:54
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    The first two questions are based upon a significant misunderstanding, are unanswerable because they ask about something that simply isn't the case at all, and can be eliminated, reducing the complexity of this compound question at least partway to the one question per question rule for Stack Exchange.
    – JdeBP
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 15:58
  • 2
    Thanks for the feedback. The question has been simplified. Can it be re-opened please?
    – Hamking
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 16:56

3 Answers 3


There is not a single clearinghouse for election results. By law, election returns are gathered by county, then reported to state levels. That is as far as it needs to go, because there is not a "national" election.

The closest thing the US has to "national election" is for President/Vice-President. But voters, based on differing state laws, select Electors that gather in-person in December to vote for that office. These elections are to select those Electors, not the candidates themselves.

All elections in the US are local, not higher than State levels. To get the data you desire, states might have that, but likely you would have to gather that data in each of the 3,141 counties (and that data is, by law, publicly available in each county).


In another answer CDJB linked to the FEC's report (PDF), which contains detailed information on elections for federal offices: President, Senate, and House.

However, it was released in December 2017, and isn't exactly ready to be put into analysis, but it is a partial answer to your question.


In order to perform your own aggregates and analysis in real time just like the news networks you will need access to data during the period following the closing of the polls while ballots are being counted and verified. Because the process of counting and verification is ongoing, there is no official data source. The news organisations and others that are (racing to) publish results typically subscribe to a service that collects data from a combination of sources, including exit polls, models, etc. The two main subscription services are provided by the AP and Reuters/NEP.

While these services are paywalled, there is some discussion on this post with regards to these data sources and how this data could be accessed (via the NYT) using web-scraping. Hope that helps.

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