It could take days or even months to know the final results of Tuesday’s election.
That’s especially true of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race between John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz which, based on polls, could come down to a “razor’s edge” margin. Moreover, once the vote is counted, candidates and parties are likely to challenge the results in court.
It’s a breeding ground for misinformation and distrust of the system and the results.
The best defense is to expect the delays and to understand what’s happening, a trio of retired Pennsylvania judges said this week.
“We can expect delays. We can expect further polarization and contentiousness. And so what’s the best tool we have to deal with that as a republic and as a democracy? That’s education. That’s awareness,” said Robert Cindrich, a former federal judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
The judges are involved with Keep Our Republic, a non-profit devoted to understanding and heading off threats to “the operating system of our democracy.”
Two of the judges, including Cindrich, were appointed by Democratic presidents and one, John Jones III, a former judge for the Harrisburg-based Middle District of Pennsylvania, was appointed by a Republican.
On Wednesday, the judges discussed unsettled legal matters that may well lead to lawsuits following the election, with cases playing out in both state and federal courts, possibly for months.