Skip to navigationSkip to content
NOTHING BETTER

Watch ballots being counted live around the US

on election day at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan
Reuters/Rebecca Cook
It’s meditative.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Reporter

The longest day of the year in the US isn’t June 21. It’s Election Day.

The first town to open up its polls, Dixville Notch in New Hampshire, did so at midnight, eastern time. The last polling station to close will do so 25 hours later, at 9 pm local time in Alaska (1 am ET).

And while in most years the elections were called by 11 pm ET, it looks like it might take a while longer this time before Americans find out who will be their next president.

For those who aren’t in line at the polls or involved in election day logistics, but would like to stay involved in the process, here’s something to do before results come trickling in later today: Watch votes being counted.

Several US counties have set up live cameras to stream absentee voters being counted. It’s a common practice around the world, with the aim of building confidence in the voting process and reinforce transparency.

It’s a rather mesmerizing sight, like those cameras showing stunning landscapes or endangered animals—but for democracy. It’s meditative.

Here, for instance, are the employees of Jefferson County, Kentucky—with face masks, visors, and gloves—moving in sync as they sort through the mail-in ballots.

Ballot processing in Jefferson County, Kentucky

This is King County, Washington, where several live cameras are pointed to different rooms were various passages of vote counting happens, from signature verification, to opening of ballots, to tabulation.

In Apache County, Arizona, several cameras are streaming live on YouTube. Other Arizona counties, too, make the process available to stream, and all the links are here.

Los Angeles County, California, has several live cameras set up, too, looking over the various rooms where ballot checking and tallying will occur.

Denver County, Colorado, has one video combining several streams:

In Union County, New Jersey, a live cam shows vote tabulation machines:

Milwaukee County, in Wisconsin, broadcasts vote counting with audio, too:

For the next few hours—or, who knows, days—you might grow impatient. Waiting for the results can be stressful, the urge to question the process and ask what can possibly be taking so long can become strong.

Remember these cameras when impatience hits you. Take a deep breath, watch as the ballots move through the process, and remember—America’s already held 58 presidential elections. It will make it through once again. Probably.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.