Why do online stories say the May 4 election results are unofficial?

When looking at election results on our website, readers may notice a sentence explaining the results are unofficial until canvassed.

Canvassing is a regular part of elections. It involves the election official taking time to verify each ballot. This ensures there were no mistakes made when the results were posted on election night. It also allows time to count mailed in ballots, according to the Texas Secretary of State. The election official counts every ballot, resolves any discrepancies and corrects any errors before certifying the election, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Therefore, the election results are unofficial until the ballots have been canvassed.

In Texas, local elections need to be canvassed no later than the 11th day after the election, according to the Texas Election Code. The canvassed results are usually announced at a local meeting, such as at a Frisco City Council meeting. So though results rarely change significantly after an election, remember that they are unofficial for a few days.


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