UPDATED: Obama Wins Omaha Electoral Vote

UPDATED, 8:15 p.m.

Posted, 6:47 p.m. — Barack Obama tonight became the first Democrat since 1964 to win a Nebraska electoral vote.

The Ballot Box is calling the Omaha-area race for Obama.

In an e-mail interview tonight, the head of the Douglas County Election Commission said his office was continuing to count the onslaught of early-voting ballots it had received.

“We have counted around 15,000 early voting ballots today,” said Dave Phipps, election commissioner of Douglas County, where Omaha is located.

Phipps acknowledged a report in the Omaha World-Herald that said the newspaper also was calling the race for Obama.  Election Web site fivethirtyeight.com also has called the race for Obama.

The race had been too close to call on Election Day.  As of early Wednesday, John McCain had led Obama by 569 votes out of more than 250,000 cast within the district, which includes parts of Sarpy County, home to several Omaha suburbs.

As of late Friday, Obama had 51.1 percent of votes within Douglas County.  John McCain had 47.3 percent.

According to the Nebraska Secretary of State, McCain led Obama in suburban Sarpy County.  But Obama’s continuing edge in Douglas County will lead to Obama’s clinching of the district’s electoral vote.

“It appears the papers are calling Sen. Obama the winner in the 2nd District,” Phipps said.

Omaha’s Electoral College vote brings Obama’s total to 365.

Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that split their electoral votes.  All other states are winner-takes-all.  Each of Nebraska’s three congressional districts gets an electoral vote; the other two votes are given to the overall winner of the state.  This year, that is McCain.

Though the race has already been called by news organizations, Phipps said his office still had work to do before it could certify the results.  Staffers will continue to count early and provisional ballots through Tuesday and will report results on Thursday, he said.

— BY BRAD DAVIS

Stay with The Ballot Box for updates, and for original reporting, on this historic victory.

Click on “Omaha” in the Tags menu on the right-hand side of this page to read our previous in-depth reporting on Omaha voters.

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