No evidence that any voting system in the country was compromised, Homeland Security officials say
From CNN's Sean Lyngaas
Federal officials have not seen any evidence that any voting system used in the 8,800 jurisdictions across the US has been compromised, the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency said Wednesday afternoon.
“We have seen no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was any way compromised in any race in the country,” US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly said in a statement.
“We urge everyone to look towards your state and local election officials for the most accurate and up-to-date information about vote counts and to remain patient as election officials continue to do their jobs and carry out the certification process,” Easterly added.
Some more context: The statement comes as election deniers, including former President Donald Trump, continue to falsely claim that technical glitches in places like Maricopa County, Arizona, are signs of voter fraud.
2:45 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
NRCC chair declines to pinpoint specific reasons for GOP underperformance
CNN's Clare Foran and Manu Raju
Rep. Tom Emmer, the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, declined to pinpoint specific reasons for why House Republicans did not perform as well as expected when pressed by CNN’s Manu Raju over what the shortfall can be attributed to and if it had to do with candidate quality, abortion, or former President Donald Trump.
Emmer responded that “no one said this was going to be easy,” but defended the election results and said that House Republicans accomplished their goal by taking back the majority. CNN has not yet projected control of the House.
“We delivered on our goal which was retaking the majority and as I’ve told many of you who I’ve spoken with over the last two years, no one said this was going to be easy,” Emmer said. “You ask the questions about specific issues, Manu, I’ve already said we’ve got a lot of votes that are outstanding. Once those have been counted and we can start doing the data I can answer those questions in more detail.”
Emmer also confirmed that he is launching a bid to be House GOP whip in the next Congress. “I am running to be the whip in the majority,” he said.
Asked if there is a concern that the results of the election could impact his whip bid, Emmer said, “I don’t see how. We delivered. This is exactly what we said we were going to do — we were going to deliver a new Republican majority.”
2:12 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Republican Zeldin concedes to Democrat Hochul in race for New York governor
After New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul was projected to win a first full term in office and making history as the first elected female governor of New York, her Republican challenger Lee Zeldin issued a concession statement, congratulating Hochul on the win.
“This race was a once in a generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states. The unrelenting passion and hard work of our grassroots volunteers and supporters made this incredibly close race possible and helped us win at least 49 of New York’s 62 counties," he said Wednesday.
He ended by asking the governor to take note that New Yorkers "are sick of the attacks on their wallets, their safety, their freedoms and the quality of their kids’ education."
New Yorkers "are hitting their breaking point, as proven by these results. As they take office in January, Governor Kathy Hochul and those controlling Albany must address the grave concerns voiced by the voters," he added.
1:48 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Nevada's Washoe County is now processing 20,000 drop-box and mail-in ballots
From CNN's Paul Vercammen
Washoe County, Nevada, is now processing 20,000 ballots that were mailed in or placed in a drop box on Monday and Tuesday.
Washoe County Communications Manager Bethany Drysdale said "everything is going smoothly this morning," and officials are hoping to finish counting those 20,000 ballots today but could not guarantee that would happen.
After that tally is completed, county officials will then move on to counting the mail-in ballots received Wednesday.
Drysdale did not have an estimate on how many mail-in ballots were received Wednesday.
“We have no idea,” she said.
The city of Reno is located in the county.
1:57 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Georgia election official says less than 10k votes remain to count, won't change outcome of Senate race
From CNN's Ella Nilsen and Jason Morris
A top Georgia election official said there are less than 10,000 votes left to be counted in that state, which means the tight Senate race will go to a December runoff.
Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for Georgia's Secretary of State Office, told CNN’s Erin Burnett there are simply not enough votes left that could put Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock above the threshold needed to avoid a runoff.
“By our internal estimates we have less than 10,000 votes to go into the election reporting for the final counts,” Sterling said Wednesday. “There’s just not enough numbers out there still to change the outcome of this race.”
Sterling told CNN off-camera that of the approximately 10,000 remaining ballots, 5,139 are provisional ballots that need to verified by Monday. In addition, 2,163 are absentee ballots and 2,700 are early in person ballots from across the state.
Sterling said the Georgia Secretary of State’s office is already preparing themselves for a December 6 runoff election. Ballots will be sent out to counties by Monday, Nov. 14 for their signoff, and the absentee ballot portal is open so voters can start requesting their absentee ballots, Sterling said. Early voting could start as early as Saturday, Nov. 26 if counties choose, he added.
“It’s all about getting those parts lined up so we can get as many votes in – so the voters can make their voice heard,” Sterling said.
1:00 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Michigan officials dismiss fraud claims from Republican candidate for secretary of state
From CNN's Majlie de Puy Kamp and Isabelle Chapman
Election officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, are pushing back on election fraud claims from Kristina Karamo, the Republican candidate who lost her bid for the Michigan secretary of state seat.
In early morning posts on Twitter and the right-wing social media platform Truth Social founded by former President Donald Trump, Karamo attacked the Ann Arbor city clerk, who oversees elections.
Karamo claimed voters were able to cast ballots even if they arrived at the polls after 8 p.m. local time, when polls closed. She alleged that voters were still being registered at 10:30 p.m.
She also said a voter with an address discrepancy was allowed to vote absentee, and someone who now lives in Michigan was able to vote Tuesday night in Ann Arbor after her absentee ballot did not arrive from Colorado.
Ann Arbor City Clerk Jacqueline Beaudry dismissed Karamo’s claims, saying in an email to CNN that there are “strong protocols in place to protect the integrity of our elections.”
Beaudry said there were long lines at three polling locations on election night. Voters in line by 8 p.m. at all those locations were given a “ticket” that allowed them to vote. Staff were present to “monitor lines and further ensure no individuals joined the lines after 8 p.m.,” she said.
“Michigan residents are allowed to register and vote on Election Day,” Beaudry said, adding that voters who recently moved to the state have to show proof of a 30-day residency to register and vote.
Refuting Karamo’s claim that the city didn’t publicly post absentee ballot totals by 9 p.m., Beaudry noted that information was made available at city hall on Election Day.
A spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called Karamo’s allegations “meritless.”
“For years, election deniers have made meritless, false and often nonsensical claims to sow seeds of doubt about Michigan elections in the minds of voters. These claims have been disproven time and again by Republican, Democratic, and independent election officials across the state, numerous courts and hundreds of audits, and our office will continue to debunk such claims in the days and weeks ahead,” the spokesperson, Jake Rollow, told CNN.
But Karamo claims she is only concerned that fraud is happening, saying, “We are not election deniers or threats to democracy.”
Benson on Tuesday night told reporters “there were no widespread or major disruptions” in Tuesday’s elections and that “any minor issues were addressed quickly and without stopping voters from casting their ballots.”
12:56 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Pelosi speaks to caucus but doesn't talk about her future
From CNN's Manu Raju and Daniella Diaz
In a private conference call with her caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney for soaking up a lot of the GOP cash targeting his seat that she believes would have been spent elsewhere in other districts, according to a Democratic member on the call.
But Pelosi did not speak about her future at all and whether she will again run for the top job in her caucus, the source said. Leadership elections for House Democrats are expected after Thanksgiving.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee executive director told the members that there is still a mathematical path to the majority but 'everything would have to go right,' the source said.
Pelosi told her caucus on a call that Maloney "took an arrow for us ... a Pyrrhic victory," a source on the call tells CNN.
On some vulnerable Democrats keeping their seats, she said, "our candidates were courageous… they had the stamina to get the job done."
12:50 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
Sen. Mitch McConnell at the Capitol: "I don’t deal in feelings"
From CNN's Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday, telling reporters, “I don’t know any more than you guys do.”
Asked how he was feeling, he replied: “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,” he added.
1:52 p.m. ET, November 9, 2022
CNN Projection: Georgia’s Senate race between Warnock and Walker will head to a runoff
From CNN's Dan Merica
Georgia’s senatorial race between Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock will head to a runoff, CNN can project, sending the high-profile race to a Dec. 6 showdown after neither candidate was able to receive more than 50% of the vote.