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Look for election results online, not in Wednesday print edition

Normally with an election, Enterprise readers can expect to pick up the next day’s paper and find out who won. This time will be different.

Wednesday’s print edition will not have any election results. Check the Enterprise website, though, because there we will post whatever results are available — although be warned: It may take longer than that to know who will be our next president, congressional representative, state Senate or Assembly representative, Tupper Lake village trustee or Keene town justice.

Because of the pandemic, a large proportion of voters have opted to cast their ballots by absentee, to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus at the polls. Those absentee ballots won’t be counted until a week after Election Day, which means all but landslide wins will be too close to call tonight. A candidate’s margin of victory at the polls would have to be wide enough to survive an absentee ballot swing the other way.

Another factor is that since the pandemic began in spring, the Enterprise’s daily press deadline has been moved up from 11:30 to 7 p.m. This was done so we could cut our mailroom staff from two shifts to one. We would extend that deadline for Election Day if we had a reasonable hope of getting results that night, but we don’t. Polls don’t close until 9 p.m., and it might take hours for in-person votes to be tabulated. Stories couldn’t be written or edited until after that, and even then it looks probable that we won’t know most, if any of the race results.

If our print deadline was still 11:30, it might be worth pushing it back an hour or two, but now it would be more like six hours — with little to be gained.

But press deadline aside, we can and will stay up tonight and post all available election results and stories on our website. That includes not just those by our staff but by all the other daily papers in the North Country. Since 2014 the Watertown Daily Times, Malone Telegram, Press-Republican of Plattsburgh, Post-Star of Glens Falls and us have been sharing articles and photos with each other to help cover New York’s vast 21st Congressional District, which stretches from Lake Ontario to Lake Champlain.

Those stories — and much more — will be published in Thursday’s print edition.

While Wednesday’s print edition won’t have results, it will have coverage of how the day’s polling went, conversations with voters and other news. We will put it out tonight before polls close and then start a new shift online — all to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about who we, as a people, choose as our next leaders.

But at this point no one knows how many days it will be before we know who they are. We will just have to be a patient.

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