Why we don’t yet know who has the majority

Vthree days ago the Americans elected a new congress. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate were up for election. To date, it is not known whether the Republicans have succeeded in taking a majority from the Democrats in one or even both chambers. The decision has not yet been made because in a few states races are too close to be considered decided before all ballots are tallied.

After the election, the Republicans currently have 49 seats in the Senate and the Democrats 48. Both parties would each need two more seats to control the smaller chamber of the American Congress. 50 senators would be enough for the Democrats, because then they would be vice presidents Kamala Harris could cast the deciding vote in stalemates. The Republicans do not currently have a female vice president. Therefore they need 51 votes for the majority.

Senate seats are still open in three states. In Nevada and Arizona there are many indications that in the end Democrats and Republicans will each be able to claim one seat for themselves.

In Nevada, Republican challenger Adam Laxalt is about one percent ahead of Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. Less than 9000 votes separate the two, being loud CNN around 88 percent of the ballot papers have been counted. On Thursday, the elections authority said the helpers were busy counting 12,000 ballot papers that were delivered in the mail on Wednesday and 57,000 ballot papers that were placed in the appropriate boxes on election day. According to an estimate by CNN, around 120,000 ballots were still uncounted. According to current electoral law, ballot papers that arrive by Saturday will also be considered if they are postmarked no later than Tuesday. The districts around the largest cities, Las Vegas and Reno, were particularly affected.

Arizona is also a little behind. There, CNN estimated the uncounted votes at more than 600,000. These would be enough to decide the election between Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly and Republican Blake Masters. After the last interim result on Thursday evening, Kelly had a lead of around five percent or around 115,000 votes. The area around the largest city in the state, Phoenix, is particularly relevant here. A Maricopa County official told CNN that they were supposed to have all the votes counted by Friday, but he said it won’t be until early next week.

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