WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.

As Election Day approaches, liberals nationwide are growing increasingly anxious about voting from home.

What if absentee ballots in battleground states take weeks to count, allowing President Donald Trump to declare an early victory? What if Trump-allied lawyers throw the validity of mailed ballots into the courts, effectively stealing an election?

Phil Keisling says your worries will be over sooner than you think.

Keisling is among the architects of Oregon's vote-by-mail system, which he championed as secretary of state more than two decades ago. He now chairs the  the National Vote at Home Institute, which places Keisling at the forefront of debates over mailed ballots—but it also gives him an encyclopedic knowledge of each state's procedures for counting and certifying votes.

In this interview, the first of two, WW editor and publisher Mark Zusman asks Keisling, a onetime writer for the newspaper, to predict how likely it is that the counting of votes will stretch on for weeks. Keisling expects the count to be finished a lot sooner than most pundits think—and has the state laws to prove it.

See Part 2 of this interview here.