What You Need To Know As States Keep Counting And Important Races Are Still Up In The Air

As both states race to process hundreds of thousands of unprocessed ballots, crucial races to determine control of the Senate in Arizona and Nevada have not yet been declared. Before enough votes are counted in those states to decide the winners of the Senate and governorship races in both states, it may still be hours or days.

In addition, a number of crucial congressional elections in California and Colorado have yet to be called, which will affect how the House will appear when the new Congress is seated in January. Republican worry about the election results, where an anticipated Republican wave never materialized, hasn’t been reduced by the unofficial results or the ongoing ambiguity about who would control Congress next year.

The underwhelming GOP performance has led to increased concerns about House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s road to the speakership as well as contributing to the brewing conflict between former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2024.

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What Is Taking So Long To Count Ballots In Key States?

The method that each state processes ballots other than those cast at polling sites on Election Day, including both early votes and mail-in ballots, is the main cause of the delay. For instance, CNN’s decision desk believes that there are approximately 675,000 ballots in Arizona that need to be counted.

About 400,000 of those votes, or the majority, were cast in Maricopa County, the county with the highest population in the state and home to Phoenix. About 290,000 of those votes were delivered to voting locations on Election Day, according to Bill Gates, the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who spoke on CNN on Thursday.

There will be a delay in tabulating since those ballots must be processed before they can be counted. In other words, these are early votes that we would have received over the weekend, or more specifically, 290,000 that were dropped off at our vote centres on election day, according to Gates. “We’re now moving into what we call late-earlys,” he added. He continued by calling the sum “a record.”

A printer mistake prevented the tabulator from reading around 17,000 ballots that Maricopa County sought to count on election day. Those ballots still need to be counted. According to Gates on Thursday, the county has not yet begun counting the 290,000 ballots that were cast on election day.

Maricopa County officials stated that they anticipate announcing additional vote totals later on Thursday night, including votes cast on Saturday night, Sunday, and most of Monday. As of Wednesday evening, over 159,000 ballots remained to be counted in Pima County, the state’s second-most populated, and the county doesn’t anticipate finishing the count until November 14 or 15.

Over 54,000 early ballots that the recorder’s office is still processing are among the uncounted votes. The county anticipates counting 20,000 votes per day, and each day’s results will be announced at 6 p.m. local time.

Nevada Mail-In Ballots Still Arriving

As long as they were postmarked by Election Day, Nevada’s state law permits counties to continue receiving mail-in ballots for counting through Saturday. More than 12,000 mailed votes were sent from the post office on Wednesday to Clark County, the state’s largest county and home to Las Vegas, according to Clark County registrar Joe Gloria.

On Thursday, however, the number considerably decreased when the county received an additional 626 ballots from the Postal Service. Additionally, counties in Nevada have tens of thousands of mail-in ballots that were deposited in drop boxes at voting locations on Election Day. According to Clark County, the drop boxes used on election day held close to 57,000 mail ballots.

In total, more than 50,000 ballots in Clark County need to be counted and are currently in “different stages in the process of validation,” according to Gloria’s report on Thursday. According to Jamie Rodriguez, the interim county registrar of voters, Washoe County, which contains Reno, received almost 18,500 ballots on Tuesday from polling places and the post office, as well as around 4,000 more ballots in the mail on Wednesday.

There were still roughly 20,000 ballots to be counted, according to Bethany Drysdale, the county’s spokeswoman, who told CNN on Thursday. We are unable to predict how many additional mail-in ballots will arrive today, she added. At a press conference on Wednesday, Rodriguez told reporters that the county was still getting used to using mail-in ballots even though they received more than they did during the primary earlier this year.

But seeing two full shelves of votes is a little more than we anticipated, and I believe it’s a little harder for us now than in the primary, Rodriguez said. “Not that we weren’t expecting a high amount of ballots coming in,” he added.

Trump vs. DeSantis

Trump’s probable 2024 campaign launch, which is anticipated at an event set for Tuesday, has been dogged by the underwhelming showing of numerous Trump-endorsed candidates in key states. At the same time, calls for DeSantis to seize the initiative and take on Trump for the 2024 nomination are being fueled by his resounding success in Florida.

It’s nothing new for candidates to start jockeying for the presidency immediately following the midterm elections, but the potential conflict in the Republican Party over 2024 is noteworthy in light of Trump’s hint the night before the election that he would make an announcement at a rally in Florida the following Tuesday.

The conflict between Trump and DeSantis has been building for some time, but it might finally come to a head when the 2024 primary season gets going. DeSantis “was already having a moment but the spotlight just quadrupled in intensity,” a Trump adviser told CNN on Wednesday.

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After ‘Red Wave’ Washes Out, McCarthy Faces Tougher Path

Even though Democrats had a better-than-expected night on Tuesday, McCarthy is moving quickly to secure the votes necessary to take the speaker’s gavel in the upcoming Congress. This is because Republicans are still inching closer to a majority in the House. Currently, no Republican takeover of the chamber has been predicted by CNN.

However, the size of the Republican majority, in the end, could affect how challenging it will be for McCarthy to succeed Pelosi as a speaker, as a slim majority could lead the pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus to oppose McCarthy’s bid for the position. Two dozen existing and new members of the House Freedom Caucus are prepared to vote against McCarthy if he doesn’t make them concessions, a source familiar with their discussions told CNN on Wednesday morning.

In an effort to get the GOP leader to grant them more power over how the House runs, they are actively debating running a nominal opponent against McCarthy in next week’s leadership elections, the source claimed. The hardline House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Bob Good of Virginia told reporters on Thursday that McCarthy “has not done anything to earn my vote” for speaker and hinted that McCarthy will face opposition.

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