There has been a lot of talk about a "red mirage" in the media lately, pertaining to Election Night. This is based off of the assumption that Trump will have appeared to win in a 1972 Nixon or 1984 Reagan-esque landslide only to have the massive lead erased within the next few days as mail-in ballots are being counted at a slow pace will come in heavily for Biden. It is no secret that Republicans are anticipated to do very well in terms of the in-person early vote and in-person Election Day vote. It is also no secret that Democrats are anticipated to do very well in terms of the mail-in ballots. On the surface, one could say this is a plausible scenario for Election Night. Even if Trump wins, one could admit that the mail-ins will cut his leads in some states.
My problem with this theory is that it is incredibly misleading to the public. It will look like a fraudulent election if Trump's apparent lead is taken away from him, whether if the votes were counted properly or not. States receiving and counting mail-in ballots three days after the election that were simply postmarked by election day is disgraceful. States need to count the mail-in ballots FIRST if anything, and should all be counted within one day (except in California, which takes weeks to count votes anyways, partially due to their own stupidity and incompetence).
However, there is some merit that would discredit this theory. Many key states do count their mail-in ballots first, and many states also do not accept ballots after Election Day. Florida and Ohio I believe are two examples of this. Wisconsin also counted their votes pretty fast during the primary, so there are plenty of swing states that will have all the votes counted promptly. However, states like Pennsylvania and Arizona will be taking a very long time to count theirs, and we all remember what a disaster Arizona was in 2018. Sinema was losing on Election Night, but ballots pouring in through the mail that also came in heavily for Doug Ducey favored her by a ridiculous margin and put her over the top. Coincidence? Maybe. But many people have every right not to see it that way. Demand election transparency and make sure the votes are counted properly, quickly, and efficiently.