LAS VEGAS – Clark County elections officials do not expect to process two significant tranches of ballots on Tuesday night, increasing the likelihood that the outcome of one of the closest 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 on Tuesday won’t be immediately counted, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Because of the delay in counting those ballots and because state law allows mailed ballots to arrive days later, officials from the Republican and Democratic parties said they do not expect to know who has won the Senate and governor’s races on Tuesday night.
“I absolutely, 100 percent do not believe we will know the results of this election tonight,” Bruce Parks, Washoe County Republican Chair told NBC News.
An official with the Washoe County Registrar’s Office, the state’s second-largest county and home of Reno, said officials there are attempting to process its latest drop box totals and mail-in votes on 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,” said Nevada Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer Russell. “By law, Nevada counties have until November 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 told NBC News.