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Nevada results to be delayed by Clark County ballot processing

Officials say ballots received in drop boxes or postmarked on Election Day will not be immediately counted.
Clark County Election Department poll workers check people in at the Meadows Mall on Nov. 8, 2022 in Las Vegas.
Clark County Election Department poll workers check in voters Tuesday in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller / Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — Clark County elections officials don't expect to process two significant tranches of ballots Tuesday night, increasing the likelihood that the outcome of one of the most closely watched Senate races won't be known before the sun rises on Wednesday.

Ballots left in drop boxes on Election Day and those that arrived by mail Tuesday won't be counted immediately, the secretary of state's office said.

Because of the delay in counting those ballots and because state law allows mailed ballots to arrive days later, Republican and Democratic party officials said they didn't expect to know who has won the Senate and governor's races Tuesday night.

“I absolutely, 100% do not believe we will know the results of this election tonight,” said Bruce Parks, the Washoe County Republican Party chair.

An official with the registrar’s office in Washoe County, the state’s second-largest county and the home of Reno, said officials were trying to process its latest drop box totals and mail-in votes Tuesday evening.

But Clark County was less optimistic.

“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,” secretary of state spokeswoman Jennifer Russell said. “By law, Nevada counties have until Nov. 12 to receive mail ballots.”

Based on previous elections, officials estimated the delay in beginning to process ballots could mean tens of thousands of votes in Nevada’s largest county remain uncounted. 

“Senate, governor, constitutional offices and House races more than likely won’t be called tonight,” Clark County Democratic Party Chair Chris Roberts said.