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With more ballots counted, Cavanaugh, Bogner win and DeBoer-Deaver still too close to call

November 11, 2018

Two of three races in Douglas County that were too close to call got some clarity Friday after the County Election Commission counted about 7,300 early voting ballots that arrived by mail and drop box on Election Day.

But one legislative race is within the margin that typically triggers recounts in Douglas County, 1 percent of the votes received by the top vote-getter, and remains too close to declare a winner.

The midterm election results updated Friday afternoon also reflect a handful of regular ballots that were marked by hand on Election Day or during early voting but could not be read by vote-counting machines.

The county still has another 4,200 provisional ballots to check and count by next Friday, an election official said.

Officials usually accept about 75 to 80 percent of those ballots after checking voter eligibility and signatures.

In south-central and southwest Omaha’s Legislative District 6, Democrat Machaela Cavanaugh won her race against incumbent State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau, a Republican.

After Friday’s counting, she led by 236 votes.

There are only 334 provisional ballots yet to be considered in that race, County Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said.

And in northwest Omaha, small business owner Amanda Bogner, a Democrat, appears to have widened her lead enough over former Omaha Public Power District finance employee Kristine Dungan to secure a win in the Subdivision 1 race for the OPPD board. She widened a 57-vote lead to 225 on Friday.

The door is still slightly open in that race, with up to 911 provisional ballots to count by next Friday.

But those, in broad terms, tend to follow the electorate’s pattern, although they can lean Democratic.

But in Legislative District 10 in north-central Douglas County, the race remains too close to call.

Wendy DeBoer, a Democrat, leads Matt Deaver, a Republican, by 48 votes.

If that margin holds after as many as 434 provisional ballots in that race are counted, it would be within the range of a recount.

In Nebraska’s closest congressional race, the Omaha-area 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Kara Eastman closed her gap with Rep. Don Bacon by 816 votes, to 6,496 votes, about 2.7 percentage points.

There are still about 4,200 provisional ballots to count in that race next week, so the gap is likely to shrink again, but not by enough to change the result.

Douglas County Assessor and Register of Deeds Diane Battiato, the Democratic incumbent, extended her lead over former statehouse lobbyist and Republican Walt Peffer to 2,556 votes.

Neighboring Sarpy County is also in the process of counting about 1,000 provisional ballots, County Election Commissioner Michelle Andahl said. Those are likely to be counted by the middle of next week.

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