The Associated Press (AP) provides the U.S. election results that you find in the election results box on Google. The AP is a trusted source of information on election night, with a history of more than 170 years of accurate reporting.
The AP collects and verifies U.S. election results in every county, parish, city, and town across the country. It covers races down to the legislative level in every state and this year will declare winners in 7,000 election contests. In the 2020 primaries, Google also worked with the AP to give you accurate, up-to-date information on race results.
Learn more about the AP’s role in the election process.
Types of U.S. election data
When you search for elections results on Google, you might find information from the AP like:
- Vote counts & percentage reporting
- Important: To estimate how much of the vote has been counted, the AP uses info from voter turnout in recent elections, advance voting, and early returns after the polls close on Election Day. Learn how the AP counts the vote.
- Notable contests
- Swing states
- State ballot measures
- Candidates, like their name, image, and party affiliation
- Important: You might not find images for every candidate. The AP strives for comprehensive candidate image coverage, and uses an AP photo or a headshot when provided by the campaign.
Google uses data from the AP to give you up-to-date information on current election results.
How often the data is updated
When election results are coming in, this data changes rapidly and is updated roughly every minute. As results come in, election data may be temporarily unavailable in Search due to a variety of reasons, like vote counting not having started yet or the AP waiting on results from state election officials.
Once most results are in, the AP will continue to update vote counts to reflect the latest data from state election officials. For example, the AP will show adjusted vote counts after recounts are complete, and will show certified vote counts once all 50 states and the District of Columbia have certified their results. The AP will stop updating vote counts after state certification. The AP will report the Electoral College vote counts based on the winner of the November 3rd election in each state as determined by the certified election results. Although some sources may show slightly different vote counts due to mixed sources or incremental updates, the AP provides results in this way in order to ensure data integrity and consistency. Learn more about the AP’s process for counting the vote and calling races.