Elections have long since ceased to be a one day event in America. Most states offer early voting in some form, and California and Arizona in particular offer relatively easy early voting by mail which invariably leads to voters turning in their mail-in ballots on Election Day. That in turn requires time for election officials to verify voter signatures and to count the ballots. It takes time to do it correctly, fairly and accurately.
The numbers the media breathlessly reports in their election night coverage and endlessly speculates about in their media consortium projections are actually a disservice to Americans on Election Day. The media want finality in the limited time frame they have set aside for election night coverage, which is unrealistic and impossible.
It can lead to candidates and political parties leading in those early election night results later concocting unsupported wild conspiracy theories about election fraud when ballots verified and counted in the days and weeks after election night swing to their opponent, as has occurred here in Arizona with Rep. Martha McSally, The Arizona Republican Party and the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee in the U.S. Senate race.
The ultimate consequence of this is to undermine public confidence in our election system and election results.