Nevada has six electoral votes to offer, and on Saturday afternoon CBS News projected Joe Biden will win the state. The call came several hours after Biden's projected victory Pennsylvania pushed him over the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
visited Nevada several times this year, though mostly to spend the night at his property in Las Vegas before visiting other Western states. Since his official nomination, the president has campaigned twice in Nevada: once in September and once in October. He also recently campaigned just over the Nevada border in neighboring Arizona, after previous Nevada campaign event venues were cited for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
After a flurry of visits to the state as he sought his party's nomination ahead of the state's February caucus, Biden returned to Nevada once, in early October.
President George W. Bush was the last Republican to win Nevada, claiming just over 50% of the vote in 2004.
CBS News projects Biden the winner in Nevada
CBS News projects Joe Biden will win the state of Nevada and its six electoral votes. He edged out President Trump by about 2 percentage points in the state.
Nevada court denies Trump-backed motions
Federal District Court Judge Andrew Gordon, an Obama appointee in Nevada, has denied a Trump campaign-backed request to force Clark County to stop using a signature verification system to help process mail ballots.
"Public interest is not in favor of disrupting the completion of the processing and counting of the ballots," Gordon said, adding that there was "an interest in not disenfranchising" potentially hundreds of votes "against one improper ballot."
The plaintiffs had requested a change to ballot processing to address unsubstantiated claims of potential voter fraud and other other changes to ballot counting observation in Clark County.
The ballot processing change would have dramatically slowed tabulation in the battleground state's most populous county.
"Ms. Stokke, it appears to me, could have repaired her harm by filing a provisional ballot with an affidavit," Gordon said in his ruling, referring to Jill Stokke, one of the plaintiffs. "There's no evidence that a human review would have done it better," Gordon added, pointing out that manual review had reached the same conclusion – that Stokke's signature matched the signature file.
"Let me be clear that I'm not deciding this case on a technicality," Gordon said in concluding his ruling, after noting there were other areas where the plaintiffs had fallen short.
"The plaintiffs have not come to the court at this point, with the sufficient legal showing and a sufficient evidentiary basis to get what is required to obtain the extraordinary relief of an injunction," said Gordon.
Official in Nevada gives election update
Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, gave an update Friday on the county's vote count after Joe Biden's lead in the state widened. Watch the briefing:
Biden's lead over Trump increases
Biden extended his lead over Mr. Trump in Nevada, too — by 22,076 votes — after more results were announced Friday morning in Clark County, the most populous county in the state. He now holds a 1.7% lead over the president.
Nevada attorney general says Trump campaign's voting fraud complaint is "garbage"
Nevada's attorney general said officials in the state have not seen evidence of voter fraud while dismissing the Trump campaign's attempt to file a federal lawsuit to force officials to stop counting what the White House claims are "improper votes."
"This six-page complaint they filed late last night is, in a word: garbage," Attorney General Aaron Ford said on "CBS This Morning" Friday. "It just goes to show the last-ditch efforts these guys are going to go to to try and derail this election to their benefit."
Nevada joined a list of battleground states under legal attack when Mr. Trump's surrogates and state Republicans announced they plan to sue. Other legal challenges have been presented in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia.
Current results show former Vice President Joe Biden holding very slight leads in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
"When you take a look at the list that [the Trump campaign] presented… one of the first things that pops out is that there are a lot of military addresses on that list. What the cover letter says is that it appears these people may have improperly cast mail-in ballots," Ford said.
He called the list "pure speculation," and said neither the "Republican secretary of state" nor "17 county registrars" have reported any evidence of widespread fraud.
Asked about when the state may have a final count, Ford pointed to a November 12 deadline which all Nevada county registrars "have to meet."
"I do know that we're going to be getting results in today as well," Ford said. "We will have a better picture of what the results look like sometime around nine, 10 o'clock today."
Official says 63,262 ballots remain outstanding in Clark County, Nevada
Joe Gloria, registrar of voters for Clark County, Nevada, said Thursday at a briefing that of the ballots the county has received, 63,262 have yet to be counted. Biden is leading in the county, which includes Las Vegas, by 431,863 votes to Mr. Trump's 367,279.
Among those, 34,743 were returned by voters to drop-off locations on Election Day. Another 24,311 mail-in ballots were pending as of Election Day, and 4,208 were received from the U.S. Postal Service on November 3 and November 4.
Staff in Clark County are prepared to count 51,000 ballots throughout the day Thursday and results will be reported before 10 a.m. PT Friday, Garcia said. He added that there are more than 60,000 provisional ballots cast during early voting and on Election Day that are outstanding.
Garcia dismissed allegations of voter fraud that have been made by members of the Trump campaign, saying he is "not aware of any improper ballots that are being processed."
"Our goal here in Clark County is not to count fast," he said. "We want to make sure we're being accurate."
Garcia said Clark County is on track to complete the bulk of its mail-in ballot count by Saturday or Sunday.
Republicans plan to file lawsuit alleging voter fraud in Nevada
The Trump campaign announced Thursday that it's filing a lawsuit alleging voter fraud, claiming that roughly 10,000 people who cast ballots no longer live in Nevada. At about 1 p.m., Mr. Trump was trailing Biden in the state by about 11,000 votes in the state, and though it's extremely close, he has been slowly falling further behind as more votes are counted.
Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt told reporters at a news conference Thursday, "We firmly believe that there are many voters in this group of mail in people that are not proper voters." Laxalt claimed the campaign had received reports of "many irregularities" and claimed, "We believe that there are dead voters that have been counted. We are also confident that there are thousands of people whose votes have been counted that have moved out of Clark County during the pandemic."
The campaign is asking a federal district court in Las Vegas for an emergency temporary restraining order "to stop the counting of improper votes."
Laxalt held the news conference at the Clark County Election Department with former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp and Nevada GOP Chair Michael McDonald.
The Trump campaign and the president have made claims of voter fraud before, though there is little evidence widespread fraud exists. When presented with opportunities by judges to produce proof that certain situations would lead to fraud, Republicans have not done so.
Nevada is one of the few remaining states that hangs in the balance. CBS News estimates the state is likely for Biden.
Where the race stands in Nevada
With votes still being counted in Nevada, Biden has an edge over Mr. Trump with 49.3% of the vote compared to the president's 48.7%.
All eyes are on the state and its six electoral votes, as a win for the former vice president there could move him closer to the 270 electoral votes he needs to deny Mr. Trump a second term in the White House.
CBS News estimates Nevada is likely for Biden.
Nevada's secretary of state said in an update Wednesday night that all in-person votes cast early and on Election Day have been counted, as have most mail-in ballots received before Tuesday.
The ballots that remain to be counted are mail-in ballots received on or after Election Day and votes cast by Nevadans who registered to vote at their polling place. Nevada is one of 21 states, as well as the District of Columbia, with same-day voter registration.
It's unknown how many ballots have yet to be counted, Nevada's secretary of state said, but all eyes will be on the state at 12 p.m. ET, when its unofficial election results are set to be updated.
No further results today — more to post on Thursday
Although one spokesperson for the secretary of state had said more results were coming Wednesday, Nevada Deputy Secretary of State Wayne Thorley said in a text that none would be coming today. Thorley said the next set of results would be posted around noon ET Thursday.
Nevada plans to release more results Wednesday
A spokesperson for Nevada Secretary of State Jennifer Russell confirmed there are are plans for another results update later Wednesday, but the timing is uncertain. Ballot counting is underway across the state today.
Officials here had initially said they planned to release results Thursday.
Washoe County to release more results Wednesday
Although Nevada's secretary of state said no further results would be reported Wednesday, in order to give counties breathing room to tally their remaining ballots, Northern Nevada's Washoe County does plan to announce an update Wednesday.
Spokesperson Bethany Drysdale said that results would be released daily until all the results have been released. Today's update will be at 1 p.m. ET. By late Wednesday morning, 89% of Washoe County's vote appeared to be in, and Biden held a 9,774-vote lead with 117,699, compared to Mr. Trump's 107,925.
You can watch a livestream of the ballot counting here.
The county will also hold a media briefing at 3 p.m. with Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula.
Nevada says no more results to announce until Thursday morning
Nevada election officials said early Wednesday that they would not announce any further vote count results until Thursday morning, leaving the fate of the state's six Electoral College votes in the balance.
The Nevada Secretary of State's Elections Division announced the hiatus for election result updates on Twitter, saying that as of early Wednesday, the state had counted all the votes cast in person before and on Election Day, and all mail-in ballots received up to Tuesday.
That leaves the postal votes received on Election Day, and any that come in over the next week but are deemed legitimate under state election laws, plus provisional ballots, left to count.
With about 86% of the votes counted, Biden was leading Mr. Trump by less than a 1% margin, or fewer than 9,000 votes.
Nevada court grants Trump campaign request to extend hours at some polling sites in Clark County
A state court in Nevada has granted the Trump campaign's request to extend hours at a handful of polling sites in Clark County, Nevada's most populous, until 8 p.m. PT (11 p.m. ET), modified with a few additional sites requested by the Nevada State Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee, "that were negatively affected by the delays in Clark County."
"Best to err on the side of allowing the full, fair opportunity for everyone to cast their votes and participate in our process," Judge Joe Hardy said in his ruling.
"Anyone who is in line at those listed locations by 8 PM shall now and hereby is permitted to vote and defendants shall allow those votes to be counted as they would with any and all other appropriately casted ballots," Hardy added later.
The Trump campaign is suing to keep some polls open in Clark County for an extra hour, until 8 p.m. PT (11 p.m. ET) because some precincts had technical problems that kept them from opening on time.
Nevada is among the states to mail ballots to all active registered voters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though in-person early voting drew record turnout as well. Polls close at 10:00 p.m. ET in Nevada. Mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within 7 days after the election to be counted.
Also among the changes Nevada made because of the pandemic was to allow county officials to begin tabulating early ballots as early as 15 days before the election.
State of the race
Years ago considered a toss-up contest, Nevada has been trending in Democrats' favor.
Fueled by high turnout in 2018, Democrats have expanded their control to both of the state's U.S. Senate seats, claimed victory in races for nearly every statewide office and touted a slate of wins that led to the history-making first majority-female legislature in the U.S.
Democrats make up 38% of the state's registered voters, leading Republicans by 6 points. Another 23% of voters are registered nonpartisan.
That gap grows larger in Southern Nevada's Clark County, which spans the famed Las Vegas Strip and the overwhelming majority of the state's population. More than 7 in 10 voters in Nevada are registered in Clark County. Forty-one percent are Democrats, 28% are Republicans, and 24% are nonpartisan.
Much of Democrats' recent success in Nevada is due to their efforts to mobilize voters here in the Las Vegas valley, especially through turnout efforts manned by the influential Culinary Union that represents much of the majority-minority workforce powering the state's hospitality industry.
Pew estimates 19.7% of eligible voters in the state are Latino. Exit polls estimated 18% of voters in 2016 here were Hispanic.
But this state, which is usually has heavy turnout, thanks in large part to the efforts of native Nevadan and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has faced steep obstacles in Nevada amid a pandemic that has crippled the state's economy and had dampened turnout efforts.
Republicans also insist they see a path to victory in the Silver State, citing enthusiasm Trump has banked in Nevada since 2016 and backlash over COVID-19 shutdowns imposed by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, a Democrat.
In 2016, then-candidate Trump trailed his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, by less than 3 points here. By comparison, then-candidate Barack Obama won the state by double digits in 2008 and nearly 7 points in 2012.
Coronavirus and economy
Few states have faced a deeper economic hit amid the coronavirus pandemic than Nevada, which completely shuttered its tourism industry in the early weeks of the outbreak and has struggled to draw visitors to return in the months since.
With the closures, properties on the Las Vegas Strip reported a virtual 100% collapse in gaming revenue for April and May. Business remains bleak, with Nevada for months ranking among the nation's worst unemployment rates. Several casinos still remain closed and hundreds furloughed or fully laid off.
About 68% of Nevada voters rated Nevada's economy as fairly or very bad, according to CBS News polling, and 83% said the economy was a major factor in their vote for president, more than any other issue named.
Nearly 11% of Nevada's workforce were estimated to be undocumented immigrants in 2016 by the Pew Research Center, the largest share of any state in the country, most working in the state's leisure and hospitality industry.
Years of polling has shown widespread support among Nevadans for long-promised federal immigration reform, though the issue has local dimensions that have proven more divisive.
The local police department's participation in the controversial 287(g) program, which effectively deputized some officers as immigration enforcement, drew outcry and protests. And amid the pandemic, activists have raised alarm over the treatment of detainees at ICE facilities in the state.
More than two years since the October 1, 2017 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, the deadliest such massacre in modern American history, gun control remains a hotly debated topic in the state. The attack remains a source of grief in the state, with memorials to the victims hosted this year even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
But efforts by some to strengthen gun restrictions in the state in the wake of the attack have faced defiance, with some sheriffs vowing to carve out "Second Amendment sanctuaries." Neighboring California called on Nevada to do more to limit its firearm sales last year, after a shooter attacked a Central California garlic festival using an assault weapon purchased in Nevada.