LAS VEGAS—By late morning the day after Election Day, about a quarter of ballots cast in Nevada’s midterm elections remained untallied, leaving results in five key races undetermined.
Toss-up races for the U.S. Senate, three House seats, and the governor’s office are still too close to call, with elections officials warning that it could take several more days to produce definitive results.
Nevada’s two largest counties stopped counting ballots a half-hour after polls closed on Nov. 8 because understaffed elections workers were overwhelmed by late Election Day lines and an avalanche of vote-by-mail (VBM) ballots.
In Clark County, where 70 percent of Nevadans live in and around Las Vegas, and in Washoe County, which includes Reno, counting of VBM ballots that were dropped off or delivered on Election Day stopped after about 7:30 p.m. on election night.
Washoe County Registrar of Voters Jamie Rodriguez told reporters in Reno that Washoe County had received more than 6,000 ballots in the mail that day, and another 10,000 were turned in at ballot drop boxes.
Rodriguez said the next big “data dump” isn’t expected until the night of Nov. 9 or Nov. 10.
On Nov. 9, Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said officials still need to count nearly 28,000 VBM ballots, including 15,000 received on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 and another 12,700 received on Nov. 9 but postmarked Nov. 8 or earlier.
Gloria said all in-person votes cast on Election Day have been counted, with 5,000 flagged as “provisional votes” that officials must confirm the validity of.
More than 840,000 votes have been tallied in Nevada as of early Nov. 9, according to the state’s Secretary of State’s Office, which would be about 45.2 percent of all registered voters in the state.
Gloria said that about 596,000 ballots had been counted in Clark County.
Elections officials say it takes more time to process VBM ballots. VBM ballots postmarked by Election Day and received within the next four days are counted in the official results.
Still undecided is the U.S. Senate race between first-term incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), regarded as the most vulnerable of midterm Democrats, and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt in one of the nation’s most-watched Senate races.
With 77 percent percent of the vote tallied, Laxalt was leading by more than 22,000 votes, garnering 418,461, or 49.9 percent, compared to Cortez Masto’s 395,866 votes, or 47.2 percent of ballots counted.
In the governor’s race, Republican Joe Lombardo, who is Clark County Sheriff, was leading first-term incumbent Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak by nearly 5 percentage points with 77 percent of the vote tallied.
Lombardo had 423,547 votes, or 50.6 percent, compared to Sisolak’s 383,835 votes, or 45.8 percent, of the 810,823 ballots counted.
Also left undetermined are the results of three of the state’s congressional races, all projected toss-up contests for three Las Vegas-area districts that are currently occupied by Democrats.
In the state’s Congressional District 1, which has only elected one Democrat in the past 40 years, six-term incumbent Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nevada) was leading Republican challenger Mark Robertson 50.3 to 47.4 percent with 80 percent of the vote tabulated.
In Congressional District 3, two-term incumbent Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nevada) was leading Republican April Becker by less than 1,200 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, with 80 percent of the ballots counted.
In Congressional District 4, two-term Rep. Steven Hartford (D-Nevada) was up by 3 percentage points over challenger Sam Peters with 80 percent of votes counted.
From The Epoch Times