LAS CRUCES, N.M. — While multiple outlets called the Congressional District 2 race a victory for Republican candidate Yvette Herrell, there was still no winner at the end of Election Day.
According to a statement by the Office of the Secretary of State, over 4,000 absentee ballots remain uncounted, and the process will resume at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
The press release was updated at 1:38 a.m. to include approximately an additional 4,000 absentee ballots that have been counted and will be posted at the conclusion of Wednesday’s process “for an approximate aggregate total of eight-thousand” ballots.
According to the live Google view, the CD-2 race was last updated at 2:35 a.m. with 95 percent of ballots reported. Herrell is in the lead with 50.5 percent of the vote at 94,428 and Torres Small has 49.5 percent at 92,442 — a one point margin.
According to the press release: “all early voting and Election Day results from Doña Ana County have been tabulated and are posted.”
By 10:20 p.m., KOAT 7 declared Herrell the winner, but did not cite a source.
Around the same time the Albuquerque Journal sent out a push alert with almost the same language.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Herrell giving a victory speech just after 10:30 p.m.
“My phone has been blowing up, I held off on letting them call the race until we knew that we knew,” Herrell said, at a point when her lead was between three or four points ahead of Torres Small. “I just want to tell you, everybody, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Herrell has made no posts on social media, and no response has been given to Daily Lobo’s attempts to contact her.
As of 11:15 p.m., Torres Small was not announcing concession, but instead said she was impressed with the voter turnout in Doña Ana and other CD-2 counties
“It is just not right at this time to cut that short,” Torres Small said to a whistling crowd at her watch party in the Las Cruces Convention Center. “That is why we are waiting until every person’s voice is heard. People worked hard to share their voice, people on both sides deserve to make sure that we see what the final count is.”
Torres Small is a water lawyer, and has previously worked on political campaigns, this is her first bid for office. Herrell is a long-time state legislator and has worked in real estate.
According to the release the election materials and ballot boxes remain “secured and are in the custody of the Doña Ana County Clerk.” The Daily Lobo was told by Doña Ana Democratic Party Chair Christopher Schaljo this means someone from the office would “sleep with the ballots overnight.”
At least three voting stations in Doña Ana county reported long lines at the booths even after closing time.
After 7 p.m., these three locations were confirmed by various voters to have wait times over 30 minutes: Corbett Center at New Mexico State University, Branigan Library and Anthony Elementary school.
This is a developing story and will be updated as needed.
Danielle Prokop is a staff reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ProkopDani.