Voting in the 2022 midterm elections may be over, but the legal battles are not. State courts and election officials are bracing for challenges on the smallest of issues such as the missing dates on some mail-in ballot envelopes.

But despite concerns that new state voting laws and intimidation would suppress minority – and mostly Democratic – votes, constitutional law scholar Bertrall Ross of the University of Virginia notes in our election panel today that turnout among Black and Latino voters appears to have been robust.

The factors determining who wins an election are not what voters normally think. Political science professor Jeffrey Lazarus says it’s not individual characteristics of candidates or their abilities. What determines who wins an election is very simple: what’s happening with the economy and the president’s approval rating. That may well drive the final outcome of the 2022 midterms.

While the political issues were pretty clear during the midterms, the results are less certain. Election law scholars Mara Suttmann-Lea and Thessalia Merivaki, from Connecticut College and Mississippi State University respectively, write that scrutiny over mail-in ballots may mean the outcome of some races is not known for days or even weeks.

Also today:

Howard Manly

Race + Equity Editor

Voters cast their ballots in Madison, Wisc., on Nov. 8, 2022, as numerous close races draw to a close. Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

Midterms 2022: 4 experts on the effects of voter intimidation laws, widespread mail-in voting – and what makes a winner

Thessalia Merivaki, Mississippi State University; Bertrall Ross, University of Virginia; Jeffrey Lazarus, Georgia State University; Mara Suttmann-Lea, Connecticut College

Some election results will take days or longer to materialize – but on election night, a panel of scholars offer initial takeaways on mail-in voting, how to win an election and voter suppression.

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