How frustrating it is that a nation with the technical capabilities to spot ice on Mars cannot tally the results of a nationwide election on the same day the people voted?

Millions of Americans went to bed last night uncertain of the outcome of the election only to get up this morning to find that the vote-counting had ceased overnight.

It's quite simple, really: you keep counting until there is nothing left to count, and then a winner is declared. It's not that complicated.

I seem to recall at some point during my sleep-deprived stupor a cable news network talking head suggesting that the counting in one key state or another had ceased because there were not enough people on staff to do the counting. Why not? Did the election somehow catch them off guard? Why wasn't there enough staff on hand to count the votes?

The delay is partially the result of the huge influx this year of mail-in ballots due to concerns about COVID-19. Many of us knew this would only add to the chaos and confusion. It is a mess that will require courts, judges, and high-priced lawyers to sort out. What a shame.

The American people deserve better than this. We hound people to participate in the process, and when they do, the system fails them by not being able to process the results in a fair and timely manner.

To further add to the confusion, some states have extended the deadline for when ballots can be received and still be counted. We may be weeks away from knowing the final results in some locations.

Is this any way to run an election? I think not.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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