Early results showed Joe Biden with a slim lead over President Donald Trump in Nevada, but it was too early to declare a winner in the race Wednesday with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.
The top elections official in the most populous county said more results will be released Thursday morning that include mail-in ballots received on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Biden was leading Wednesday afternoon by less than 8,000 votes.
Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that he did not have a number for how many ballots had been received but uncounted in the Las Vegas area.
The Nevada Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said in a text message earlier Wednesday that the state would likely release some additional results that afternoon but said a few hours later that the state would wait until Thursday morning.
Election officials in Washoe County, Nevada’s second-largest which includes Reno, said Wednesday afternoon that they would not be releasing more results until 10 a.m. Thursday morning.
In Las Vegas, Gloria said he would be holding daily 10 a.m. news conferences until all ballots were counted, including provisional ballots that were cast by voters taking advantage of same-day registration, electronic ballots sent to overseas voters or for disabled voters.
Results released so far have not included mail-in ballots received on Election Day, along with any mail ballots postmarked later than Nov. 3 that arrive over the next week and any provisional ballots.
The number of outstanding mail ballots is difficult to estimate, the state elections office said, because Nevada opted to mail ballots to all active registered voters this year and it’s hard to predict how many will choose to return them.
No Republican presidential candidate has carried Nevada since 2004. But the state has remained a battleground. Trump fell just shy of winning Nevada and its six electoral college votes four years ago, and this year he campaigned hard in the state hoping for better luck.
Democrats and Joe Biden’s campaign said that while they have been successful in recent elections in Nevada, they weren’t taking anything for granted,
Republicans and Democrats said they have seen high enthusiasm in recent weeks. Turnout results showed 1 million plus-ballots cast by mail or through in-person early voting had already surpassed the total turnout in Nevada in 2016.
In addition to the presidential race, voters decided four U.S. House races, five statewide ballot questions, two statewide Supreme Court seats and one state Court of Appeals seat. They also picked winners for four positions on the Board of Regents, two State Board of Education spots and about four dozen state Senate and Assembly contests.
Two incumbent U.S. House members, Republican Mark Amodei in northern Nevada and Democrat Dina Titus in Las Vegas won reelection Tuesday.
The other House races, where Democrats Susie Lee and Steven Horsford were trying to win reelection, were too early to call, with a large number of ballots yet to be counted.
Election Day voters encountered lines but only a few problems as polls opened. A judge ordered 30 of 125 Las Vegas-area voting sites to remain open for an extra hour to 8 p.m. after the Trump campaign and Nevada Republicans cited reports that some locations did not open on time Tuesday morning.
Joe Weaver, the Nevada director of Trump’s reelection effort, said Republicans have been “re-registering a lot of Democrats that have been walking away from the party.”
The GOP and Trump’s campaign have been working as a joint operation in the state with more than 60 staffers on the ground, roughly double their effort four years ago.
But Democrats have one of the country’s strongest state parties in Nevada, built up by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They had more than 100 on staff in the state between the party and the campaign and activated get-out-the-vote networks that reach into Nevada’s diverse communities.
One of the biggest on-the-ground-advantages Democrats count is the heavily Latino casino workers’ Culinary Union, which had more than 500 members working to get out the vote and started hitting doors in August.
Shannon Delugo-Owen, a 49-year-old Republican who cast her vote early in-person for Trump at a south Las Vegas polling place, said she doesn’t think the president should be faulted for the coronavirus and its effects.
“I do believe he’s there fighting for our country. Our economy has been fantastic,” said Delugo-Owen.
Reno resident Maria Ochoa, a 38-year-old bank worker who waited in a 90-minute line on Friday said she wanted to vote early for Biden and felt Trump was out of step with her Hispanic community.
“I feel like he has made it OK for people to come out and be openly racist and openly express those feelings,” she said. “Biden and Harris seem to be more about uniting communities.”