Nov 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Results in Nevada Senate race delayed due to paper ballots

Election officials sort mail-in ballots at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters Office on Nov. 8, 2022 in Reno, Nev.

Election officials sort mail-in ballots at the Washoe County registrar of voters' office on Nov. 8 in Reno, Nev. Photo: Trevor Bexon/Getty Images

Nevada's midterm election results have been delayed, according to local election officials, leaving the state's high-stakes Senate race outcome in the balance as of early Wednesday.

Driving the news: Two counties where the vast majority of Nevada voters reside aren't expected to start counting some mail-in ballots until Wednesday, The Nevada Independent reported.

  • In Clark County, a shortage of election workers was causing the delay, while Washoe County received large volumes of mail and drop-off ballots, per the Independent, which spoke to county officials.
  • Nevada state law also allows mail-in ballots to arrive days after Election Day so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 8, per Forbes.
  • Nevada's race is one of four key Senate battlegrounds that remained uncalled early Wednesday. Georgia, Wisconsin and Arizona are also unresolved.

What they're saying: "Clark is not counting drop boxes tonight, but, to be clear, we said all along that we would only have some of the results on election night," Jennifer Russell, a spokesperson for the Nevada secretary of state, told NBC News Tuesday. "By law, Nevada counties have until Nov. 12 to receive mail ballots."

  • "I absolutely, 100% do not believe we will know the results of this election tonight," Bruce Parks, chair of the Washoe County Republican Party, also told NBC.

"We're all used to elections where it was as simple as plugging in USB sticks and running the results," Bethany Drysdale, a spokesperson for Washoe County, told the Reno Gazette Journal. "We can't do that now because there are so many paper ballots. It's going to take longer. This is the new normal for election night."

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