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.
Should the races in Nevada and Arizona go evenly, Georgia would matter. There no candidate has won more than 50 percent of the votes. And when that happens in Georgia, it’s always a runoff election that decides. It is scheduled for December 6 between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
The Senate showdown isn’t the only choice left. Nevada and Arizona, for example, also have elections to the House of Representatives pending. There are three races in Arizona that are still awaited and are too close to predict a decision. A decision is still pending in Nevada. In the larger chamber of Congress, the Republicans currently have 211 seats and the Democrats 198. The Republicans are therefore well on the way to achieving the 218 seats needed for a majority. However, the state with the most outstanding House elections is California. There are still 16 races that have not been fully counted.
There are also state elections that are of national interest. Republican Kari Lake wants to run for governor in Arizona. She is currently a little over a percentage point (nearly 27,000 votes) behind Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs. The Republican Mark Finchem is a little clearer behind his democratic opponent for the post of “Secretary of State” – a kind of interior minister – Adrian Fontes: He has a lead of almost 110,000 votes. In Nevada, Republican Jim Marchant is just over 5,000 votes behind Democrat Cisco Aguilar.
But why does it take so long to count all these results? On the one hand, it has to do with the sheer volume of decisions voters have to make on Election Day. So it’s not just about the seats in Washington, but also about parliaments and governments of the states, about referendums and also posts in the districts.
On the other hand, more and more people are voting by mail and do not go to the polling station on election day. In Nevada and California, ballots are mailed to all citizens who are registered as voters; in Arizona, they require a one-time application. However, counting these postal votes is time-consuming. First, the signature on each individual envelope must be compared with the signature that is stored in the voter file. Only when this is done to your satisfaction can the ballot paper be removed and counted. If there are any objections, the voters usually have several days to clarify them personally on site. If there is a glitch like in Arizona, where ballot papers were handed out that could not be read by machines because the pressure was too weak, this further delays the process.
In addition, the officials in the respective districts are aware that the entire nation is looking at them. They will not rush into anything and will try to do everything very strictly according to the rules so as not to give room for disputes. So it could be at least next week, if not longer, before all the races are decided.