Our live coverage of the 2022 midterm elections has moved. You can find the latest news and results here.
Arizona's Maricopa County expects to start releasing Friday evening the first results from its outstanding 290,000 mail-in ballots that voters dropped off on Election Day, a top official told CNN late Thursday.
"We should start to see those tomorrow, I believe – we’ll start seeing those come in," said Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County board of supervisors.
Maricopa is Arizona's most populous county and it includes the city of Phoenix.
The mail-in ballots dropped off were a record for the county, Gates said. “It’s a lot of ballots that people are trying to process, but we’re going to get through it. We’re going to do it on a timeline that’s frankly consistent with how long it takes us to get this done every two and every four years.”
Gates pushed back on criticism from Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has been questioning the integrity of the elections and the length of time to get results.
“There’s nothing out of the ordinary; it makes me wonder if Kari Lake has really been following elections in the past in Maricopa County,” he said.
On Thursday, Maricopa County staff verified nearly all of the 290,000 early ballots dropped off on Election Day. It updated an additional tranche of just over 78,000 ballots on Thursday night.
The estimated ballots remaining, according to the county, include:
- 17,000 Election Day ballots to be reported
- 68,928 early ballots left to process and tabulate
- 29,153 early ballots left to verify
- 2,878 provisional ballots left to research out of 7,885 total
Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier wins reelection against Republican challenger Matt Larkin in Washington state's 8th Congressional District, CNN projects, as she overcomes blistering attacks on crime and the economy.
CNN now projects Democrats have 198 seats of 218 required to control the House.
CNN projects Republicans have 211 seats.
Democrat Rep. Dina Titus will defeat Republican Mark Robertson in Nevada's 1st Congressional District, according to CNN projections.
In addition, Democrat Rep. Steven Horsford will defeat Republican Sam Peters in Nevada's 4th Congressional District, according to the projections.
Both victories are holds for the Democratic Party.
CNN now projects Democrats have 197 of 218 seats required to control the House.
CNN also projects Republicans have 211 seats.
Voters in five states on Tuesday were asked whether to update their states’ constitutions to remove slavery and indentured servitude as potential punishments. In four of the five states, voters agreed to strike the punishment from the books, CNN projects, while the effort fell short in one.
Although the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibited slavery in 1865, it allowed an exception “for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted,” and the proposed amendments asked voters to either explicitly rule out slavery and indentured servitude as potential punishments or remove the terms from state law altogether.
Voters in Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont approved ballot measures to amend their state's constitutions accordingly. However, Louisiana voters rejected an amendment that would have changed the state’s constitution by explicitly prohibiting the punishments, CNN projects.
You can read more about the specific ballot measures here.
At the first runoff campaign event, Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker was joined by Sen. Ted Cruz with both men boldly predicting a GOP win in the runoff election.
Addressing a crowd of hundreds of supporters in Canton, Georgia, Walker said, “We are in overtime. We got a runoff. I was built for this. God prepared me for this moment right here.”
Canton, about an hour outside the City of Atlanta, is located in Cherokee County, a deeply red part of the state.
A source close to the campaign told CNN that hosting the event in Canton was part of Walker’s runoff campaign strategy to perform better in Republican counties where they underperformed on Election Day compared to incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who avoided a runoff.
During his address to supporters, Walker continued to attack his rival, Sen. Raphael Warnock, and President Joe Biden, telling a crowd of supporters that the two are in lockstep. Walker went so far as to warn the crowd not to fall for Warnock’s clean-cut image, calling Warnock a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Meanwhile, Cruz went on the offensive, enthusiastically addressing the crowd saying, “I am here to tell you: On December 6th Herschel Walker is winning this race.“
Cruz rallied the crowd with references to immigration, inflation and grievances against the media in his 15-minute speech.
He boldly predicted the GOP would flip the Senate, claiming that there is no bigger divide between a senator and his constituents than in Georgia, referring to Warnock.
“The eyes of the country are upon you. The odds are high that control of the Senate will be decided by the men and women of Georgia,“ Cruz said.
When asked by CNN after the event if Cruz thought Walker should call on former President Donald Trump to visit Georgia to stump with Walker, Cruz said:
“Herschel has made clear he will welcome the support from President Trump who’s supporting him. He said he would welcome the support of Ron DeSantis. He will welcome the support of anyone coming to campaign."
Former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who left his seat for a scandal-plagued tenure as President Donald Trump’s Interior secretary, will defeat Democrat Monica Tranel to win Montana’s 1st Congressional District, CNN projects.
Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and Montana state senator who was first elected to the House in 2014 and reelected in 2016 before resigning to join Trump’s Cabinet, seized on an opening created when the 2020 census results handed the Treasure State a second congressional district.
Republicans have 211 of the 218 seats needed to control the House, according to CNN projections. The Democrats have 195.
With reporting from CNN’s Paul LeBlanc
Republican Rep. Young Kim, who was one of the first Korean American women elected to Congress, will win California's 40th Congressional District, according to CNN projections.
Her victory, over Democrat Asif Mahmood, is a hold for the Republican Party.
House Democrats are eagerly awaiting word from Speaker Nancy Pelosi about whether she will continue to run the caucus she has dominated for the past two decades as they decide whether to run for the top job.
Pelosi is widely expected to announce her decision once it is clear which party will have the majority in the House and after she returns from her trip to a climate conference in Egypt.
That could come as soon as next week when the House returns to session, with members meeting Monday evening for the first time since the election and the full caucus on Tuesday. The leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 30.
If she steps aside, as most members believe she will, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries is seen as the front-runner for the top position, though he could face a challenge from Rep. Adam Schiff and others.
But all eyes are also on the two Democrats currently below Pelosi: Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn. Hoyer has long coveted the top position, but with many in the caucus calling for generational change and diversity in the ranks, the 83-year-old Hoyer could have a difficult time winning the votes.
"I've told all the younger members, I'll be out of here by 2036," Hoyer told reporters when asked about his next moves. He indicated he would wait for the House to be called before announcing his next steps.
Clyburn has recently signaled he wouldn't block Jeffries' ascension to the top spot, but he might want to stay in leadership, which could prevent other Democrats from ascending. Rep. Katherine Clark is seen as the frontrunner for the No. 2 job, depending on what Hoyer and Clyburn do.