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Ask 2: How will NBC call the races?

FILE - President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the second and final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. on Oct. 22, 2020.  Television networks are adding experts in election law to their election night coverage teams so they're prepared to explain legal challenges or irregularities that come up during the vote. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the second and final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. on Oct. 22, 2020. Television networks are adding experts in election law to their election night coverage teams so they're prepared to explain legal challenges or irregularities that come up during the vote. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

At KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: How will NBC call the races?

Answer: First and foremost, NBC News will not call a race until the Decision Desk is at least 99.5 percent confident of the winner.

On Election Night, the Decision Desk will make the following calls, according to NBC News:

Too Early To Call: This characterization covers two scenarios. The first is that there might be a significant margin for one of the candidates, but we have not yet met our statistical standards to project the race. The second is that there is not enough data to determine the margin with certainty.

Too Close To Call: The final margin between the candidates will be less than 5 percentage points. The Decision Desk will not use this characterization until we have statistical confidence that the race will be this close.

Projected Winner: NBC News has made a projection that a candidate will win the race.

Apparent Winner: NBC News has projected that a candidate has won the race, but the results are close enough that the outcome may depend on a potential recount and/or confirmation that the results that have been reported are accurate.

Winner: This designation is used for projecting U.S. House races.

Before making these calls, data will be checked for accuracy and NBC News will independently analyze vote and exit poll data.

According to NBC, vote count analysts ensure accuracy by inspecting results and looking for irregularities or inconsistencies with past voting behavior.

If irregularities are found, analysts trigger a quality control alert to determine if results are correct. If any vote fails the quality control check, it will be reviewed by a senior team member.

Once the Decision Desk is at least 99.5 percent confident in a projection, NBC News will call the race.

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