It took until Election Night but Republicans and Democrats finally agreed on something: Be patient

By: , and - November 9, 2022 6:00 am

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Gov. Steve Sisolak greet Democratic supporters at the Wynn on Election Night. (Photo by Michael Lyle)

Election Day has morphed into Election Week.

Tuesday ended with none of Nevada’s top ticket races being called. Election officials at Clark and Washoe counties, which together make up almost 90% of the state population,  announced they did not have the resources to process the mail ballots that were received on Election Day via the postal service or physical dropboxes.

Partial results Wednesday morning showed Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto trailing Republican challengers Joe Lombardo and Adam Laxalt, and Democratic candidates holding leads in competitive races for Congress in Southern Nevada. Republicans held leads in all the races for statewide offices except the race for attorney general.

On Tuesday night candidates from both parties cautioned that the results will fluctuate over the coming days.

The results announced Tuesday night included votes cast during Nevada’s two-week early voting period and mail ballots processed before Election Day in Clark and Washoe counties along with some in-person Election Day voting in some rural counties.

The remaining mail ballots, particularly in Clark County, are expected to favor Democrats. Republicans have disproportionately voted in-person while Democrats disproportionately embraced mail ballots. During early voting, for example, Registered Republicans cast just about half of all in-person ballots but make up only 30% of active registered voters. Registered Democrats cast 54% of mail ballots but make up only 33% of active registered voters.

Control of the Senate could come down to the Nevada contest. As of early Wednesday, four races — Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin and Georgia — had not been called. Georgia is likely headed to a runoff election. 

Cortez Masto spoke to a crowd of supporters at Encore Las Vegas just as the last of Nevada’s polling places were closing.

“The votes are still being counted,” she said. “We know this will take time and we won’t have more election results for several days. I am confident in this team. I’m confident in the campaign that we’ve built to win.”

Cortez Masto’s emphasis on waiting for the complete count mirrored other comments made by speakers at the Nevada Democratic Victory event.

Similarly, the Nevada State Democratic Party released a statement pledging to accept the final vote count and urging Republicans and others to pledge the same.

“Nevada takes voting rights very seriously, and with voter protection options like universal paper ballots, extended early voting, multiple voting options, and ballot curing, you can’t just push a button and have the results pop out, but every single vote gets counted, and that’s what matters,” said NV Dems Executive Director Matthew Fonken in a statement. We hope everyone joins us in our pledge to wait until the counts are final before we make tough calls.”

The Nevada Republican Party held an election night event at Red Rock Resorts. The Current was denied entry to that event.

“We’re right where we want to be,” Laxalt told supporters in remarks aired on local TV stations. “Unfortunately, we’re in for a long night and maybe a few days into this week as all the votes are tabulated. We’re confident that the numbers are there, and we’re gonna win this race and we’re going to take back America.”

Speaking after Laxalt, Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo likewise expressed optimism that the election would turn his way. But nodding to the fact that results would not be forthcoming until later in the week, told supporters, “We need some patience.” 

He predicted supporters will “be calling me Governor Lombardo here in the next few days.” 

“It’s going to be a long couple of days,” said state Republican chairman Michael McDonald as he implored the crowd to “start blowing this up” on social media. “And keep the rest of the world watching what’s happening here in Nevada because we will take back the Senate from Nevada. We will take back the governor’s mansion.”

Earlier that night, the state Republican Party leader was more animated, tweeting, “Unacceptable that Clark County is so poorly managed that they failed to plan to release election results Election Night.” 

This isn’t the first time Nevada has taken several days to count ballots and confirm winners.

In 2020 – the first time the state used universal mail-in ballots – full election results weren’t known for several days after election, and Joe Biden’s victory in the state wasn’t confirmed until the Saturday after Election Day.

This story was updated to reflect overnight reporting of additional votes.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, three children and one mutt.

MORE FROM AUTHOR
Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

MORE FROM AUTHOR
Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

MORE FROM AUTHOR