Midterm elections 2022: Where votes remain to be counted and how long it will take

Midterm elections 2022: Where votes remain to be counted and how long it will take

While the 2022 midterm voting ended Tuesday night , the public awaits results from ongoing counts that could determine the balance of power in Congress' upper and lower chambers -- outcomes that will either aid or seriously limit the Biden administration's agenda.

On Wednesday, after Republican Sen. Ron Johnson was projected as the winner of his reelection bid in Wisconsin and Georgia was projected to be a runoff election between Herschel Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, only Senate races in Arizona and Nevada remain competitive as the two contests yet to be projected.

A fifth race, in Alaska, also has not been projected but features two leading Republican candidates -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Kelly Tshibaka -- running against each other. That race uses a ranked-choice system that will likely delay results if no candidate gets 50% in the first round.

Senate Republicans have largely avoided declarations on their chances of taking control of the currently 50-50 chamber. When asked by ABC News about the future of his delegation on Wednesday morning, current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "I don't deal in feelings. The question is, they've got to count the votes and then we'll figure out where we are."

Likewise, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has only commented briefly, after midnight on Wednesday, but projected confidence.

Here's where outstanding votes remain in potentially decisive Senate races -- and how long the counting is likely to take -- as well as a look at the uncertainty in the House.

PHOTO: Ballots for the U.S. midterm elections are counted with a machine at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Nov. 9, 2022. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
PHOTO: Ballots for the U.S. midterm elections are counted with a machine at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Nov. 9, 2022. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Nevada Senate

With around 84% of the expected vote reporting as of Thursday, Republican Adam Laxalt holds a 1-point lead over incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.

Nevada has given counties until Saturday to receive mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day, and the state's elections officials have said that it could take a few days following the election to announce unofficial results. Counties have until Nov. 18 to certify results.

In 2020, it took three days for the state to report 100% of the vote.

"We do not have a count on outstanding votes at this time. All active registered voters in Nevada were mailed a ballot. Some surrendered them to vote in person, some threw them away," Nevada Secretary of State spokesperson Jennifer Russell said on Wednesday.

In Clark County -- Nevada's most populous, home to some 70% of the state's electorate -- Registrar Joe Gloria said at a Thursday afternoon news conference that there are there are still 50,000 outstanding ballots that need to be counted. He said he expects the majority of ballots to be tabulated by Saturday night. Earlier this week, Gloria said he estimated it could be next Thursday before the county gives unofficial count totals.

On Thursday, former President Donald Trump posted on his Truth Social account frustrations about the election process in Clark County.

"Clark County, Nevada, has a corrupt voting system (be careful Adam!), as do many places in our soon to be Third World Country. Arizona even said “by the end of the week!” - They want more time to cheat! Kari Lake MUST win!", Trump wrote.

Officials at Clark County responded, saying they could not speed up the counting process "even if they wanted to."

"We have heard his outrageous claims, but he is obviously still misinformed about the law and our election processes that ensure the integrity of elections in Clark County," officials said in a statement, noting the Nov. 12 deadline for mail-in ballots allowed to be received under state law.

"In addition, there are provisional ballots to process, and we will not be able to complete that task until we receive reports from the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday, Nov. 16. This process ensures that individuals do not vote twice in Nevada. All of our election systems are certified by the state and federal governments for use in the State of Nevada, and there are several state required audits done before, during, and after each election, which further ensure the reliability and integrity of the election."

Washoe County, which encompasses Reno, has also reported thousands of ballots that have not yet been counted.

Arizona Senate

With about 76% of the expected vote reporting in as of Thursday, Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly leads his Republican challenger, Trump-backed Blake Masters by about 6 points.

Arizona publishes its own estimates of the number of ballots that counties are still processing and tabulating. As of Thursday afternoon, eight of the state's 15 counties had reported the total amount of its votes that have been completed, and only one of those counties -- Greenlee -- had no outstanding ballots to count.

Between the eight counties, nearly 1.3 million in-person, mail-in or absentee ballots have yet to be counted, tabulated or counted.

Meanwhile Maricopa County, the largest in the state, will likely be decisive as it continues counting its own ballots.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates told ABC News on Thursday he expects to wrap up vote counting in the state's largest county by Monday and that a record number of "late earlies" dropped off on Election Day is slowing the process but there is "nothing wrong" about what's going on.

"This is how the vote count goes," he said, noting there are just over 400 thousand votes left to be counted in Arizona, most of which are early ballots.

Masters' team has insisted they still see a pathway to victory.

"With the remaining ballots outstanding, we are confident we will win," Masters' press account tweeted on Wednesday.

PHOTO: Sen. Mark Kelly and his wife former Rep. Gabby Giffords talk to campaign volunteers on Election Day in Tuscon, Ariz., Nov. 08, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Sen. Mark Kelly and his wife former Rep. Gabby Giffords talk to campaign volunteers on Election Day in Tuscon, Ariz., Nov. 08, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Georgia Senate runoff

With 99% of the expected vote reporting as of Thursday, incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and challenger Republican Herschel Walker are virtually tied.

ABC News reports that neither candidate will crack 50% of the vote, though the state is still waiting for thousands of votes. That means Walker and Warnock will advance to a Dec. 6 runoff.

"This will be a very heavy lift for our counties, because it's a four-week runoff period. But have confidence: They will take all the measures required to rise to the task," Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference on Wednesday.

PHOTO: A Washoe County employee uses a shovel to knock snow off of trees outside of a vote center on Nov. 8, 2022, in Reno, Nev. (Trevor Bexon/Getty Images)
PHOTO: A Washoe County employee uses a shovel to knock snow off of trees outside of a vote center on Nov. 8, 2022, in Reno, Nev. (Trevor Bexon/Getty Images)

A Georgia judge ruled earlier this month that voters in Cobb County have until Monday to postmark their absentee ballots after 1,000 people were not mailed such ballots after requesting them.

House races up in the air

The U.S. House stands at risk flipping from a Democratic to Republican majority, with 211 Republicans currently winning their seats compared to 201 Democratic victories, according to ABC News estimates. One party needs to cross a 218 threshold in order to win control.

There are outstanding results for 23 House seats. Ten of those seats are likely or leaning Democrat, five are likely or leaning Republican and three are tossups, according to FiveThirtyEight.

ABC News' Abby Cruz, Libby Cathey, Matt Fuhrman, Lalee Ibssa, Janai Norman and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

Midterm elections 2022: Where votes remain to be counted and how long it will take originally appeared on abcnews.go.com