So, What Time Do The Polls Close?

Politico has this helpful map showing when polls close across the country, all times Eastern:

I’d expect that you’re not going to see a lot of early calls in the swing states, the networks have learned their lesson from 2000 quite well I think. So even though Virinia closes at 7:00 and Ohio at 7:30, I would be surprised if we see either of those states called before 9:30 at the earliest, and possibly later. Also note that Florida has two closing times; most of the state closes at 7:00 but the western part of the Panhandle doesn’t close until 8:00 because it’s in the Central Time Zone. Normally, networks refrain from calling the state until after all polls have closed, although the Secretary of State does start making poll results available after the majority of polls have closed. Florida is another state that I would expect to go late before being called. Finally, depending on how close things appear to be in the Electoral College, we may have to wait for Colorado, which closes at 9:00, and Nevada, which closes at 10:00.

H/T: Ann Althouse

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    It depends. The times above are good for non-swing states. In contested swing states with Republican governors polls close by racial make-up of the precinct.

  2. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: That was churlish and beneath your dignity. True, but still churlish etc.

  3. Dazedandconfused says:

    What will they do if there are loooong lines of people in Florida and Ohio when the clock says 7:30?

  4. Stonetools says:

    I think the key state to look for is Virginia. If they call Virginia for Obama, then the only question will be by how much Obama will win.
    I predict by 11.00 pm we will know who won the election.