LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Just 800 votes separated incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and former Nevada attorney general and Republican Adam Laxalt in the Nevada race for U.S. Senate as of Friday evening.

Both campaigns were eyeing results trickling in from the state’s two largest counties, Clark, home to Las Vegas, and Washoe, home to Reno. Clark County added 23,000 votes Friday from mail-in ballots. There are about 40,000 ballots remaining to be counted in Clark County, 8 News Now estimates.

The total count as of Friday at 7:30 p.m. was 467,208 votes for Laxalt and 466,387 votes for Cortez Masto — a difference of 821 votes or 0.09%. Updated totals following Friday’s Clark County release came from Douglas and Washoe counties, the Nevada Independent reported.

Laxalt had widened the difference between him and Cortez Masto to about 2,000 votes with the Douglas County add but the lead shrank to 800 votes following Washoe’s release.

Just 800 votes separated incumbent Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and former Nevada attorney general and Republican Adam Laxalt in the Nevada race for U.S. Senate as of Friday evening. (KLAS)

Vote totals released from Clark County on Friday afternoon showed the mail-in results leaning toward Cortez Masto by nearly a 2-1 margin. Cortez Masto gained 17,150 votes in Clark County on Friday, compared to Laxalt’s 8,960.

Vote totals released from Clark County on Thursday evening showed Cortez Masto gained 7,480 votes in Clark County on Thursday, compared to Laxalt’s 4,195.

“We continue to feel confident given the votes outstanding,” a person close to the Cortez Masto campaign said Friday. Laxalt continued to build his lead as Nevada’s rural and more Republican-leaning counties added to the statewide total as they continued their processes.

“We are waiting on results tonight and expect her percentages to continue to remain under what she needs,” Laxalt tweeted Friday in response to a false report his campaign was planning to ask for a recount.” We still remain confident.”

The election officers in both Clark and Washoe counties continued to tabulate mail-in ballots. Nevada law allows clerks to accept mail-in votes until the Saturday after Election Day.

In 2020, the Nevada Legislature voted to mail ballots to every registered Nevada voter. Voters can opt-out rather than opt-in to receive one and instead vote early in person or vote on Election Day in person if he or she wishes.

The process means extra steps need to be taken in the ballot counting process, ensuring signatures on ballots match what’s in the DMV record, that ballots are not spoiled and that no person votes twice.

The remaining ballots in the two counties are expected to skew toward Cortez Masto as Democrats have historically trusted the mail-in system over Republicans. Former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Laxalt, has told his supporters not to vote by mail and instead vote in person on Election Day.

Clark County responded Thursday to former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations about voting issues, calling his claims, “outrageous” and “misinformed.”

Trump sounded off Thursday on his Truth Social account saying in part, “Clark County, Nevada has a corrupt voting system (be careful Adam!), as do many places in our soon to be Third World Country.”

“All of our election systems are certified by the state and federal governments for use in the State of Nevada, and there are several state-required audits done before, during, and after each election, which further ensure the reliability and integrity of the election,” a county spokesperson said.

The vote tallying process is required to be complete by Tuesday with county results submitted to the state by Thursday.