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Expect to wait on ballot counts from Nevada in elections to come

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While the counting game continues in Nevada, the wait is weighing on many people.

And an election expert says this won't be the last time we wait this long for results to come in in an election.

"I just think it's taking way too long," said Marquita Smith, a voter and Las Vegas resident. "It's causing more problems than anything."

On Wednesday, all eyes were on battleground state Nevada for a decision, but now there are several states in play as the counting continues.

"If something went horribly wrong for Biden in Pennsylvania or Georgia or Arizona and let's not forget North Carolina, or if in the recounting somewhere," said Dr. Michael Green, an associate history professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "There is a chance Nevada could be the decision-maker, but probably not."

Some say the wait is worth it.

"I think that they're counting everything very carefully," said Jeff Baker, a Las Vegas resident who voted by mail this election. "I don't think there's anything going on."

What caused mail counting to take this long?

"Everybody is under the assumption that we just have x number of ballots that are sitting there and if we could just hurry up and get them all counted we'd be done," said Dr. Sondra Cosgrove, president of the League of Women Voters Nevada.

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Under a bill passed in August because of the pandemic, mail ballots were automatically sent to all 1.8 active registered voters in Nevada, mail ballots are accepted up to seven days after election day as long as they're postmarked, and ballots can be cured up to nine days after election day.

"Before we had a small percentage of people who were doing absentee ballots and almost everybody else was doing it by with the machines," said Cosgrove. "And so we didn't have to worry about the post office being overwhelmed."

So what parts of the bill will stick in future elections?

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The extended timeline to accept your ballot will stay in place, which means this presidential election won't be the last time you participate in the waiting game.

That's unless lawmakers change the law in the upcoming legislative session and give less time to receive absentee ballots.

"It would be changing the timeline, because it's not you could say they need more machines or more people. That's not going to make it go any faster because you could have all the ballots counted in three days, they still have to wait nine days per the law," said Cosgrove.

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The state will not be sending out mail ballots automatically to all registered voters in future elections, which could also help speed up the process.

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