UPDATE: Results of the Nevada GOP caucus made available at 1 a.m. Monday showed the following results, with 100 percent of precincts counted:
-- Mitt Romney, 50.0 percent (16,486 votes)
-- Newt Gingrich, 21.1 percent (6,956 votes)
-- Ron Paul, 18.7 percent (6,175 votes)
-- Rick Santorum, 9.9 percent (3,277 votes)
The state Republican party has certified the results, according to a news release.
A day late and amid high-level GOP hand-wringing and threats of a lawsuit, the Nevada Republican Party on Sunday released caucus results after the presidential campaigns monitored a hand count to verify thousands of Clark County ballots.
Adding votes from Nevada's largest county boosted Mitt Romney's margin of victory to 50.1 percent statewide. Newt Gingrich eked out a second-place finish, edging Ron Paul, 21.1 percent to 18.8 percent, according to unofficial returns. Rick Santorum finished last with 10 percent of the vote.
Based on the final vote count, Romney would be awarded 14 delegates to the national convention, Gingrich six, Paul five and Santorum three, according to a GOP official.
Total turnout was 32,930, far less than the 44,000 Republicans who voted in the GOP caucuses in 2008.
The stakes were high because the vote percentage determines how many of Nevada's 28 GOP delegates each candidate wins. The second-place finish for Gingrich over the more organized Paul could boost the former House speaker's campaign beyond Nevada's first-in-the-West caucus.
Carl Bunce, the Nevada director of Paul's campaign, said he was satisfied with the outcome. On Saturday night and early Sunday, national Paul campaign officials threatened to sue the party over the apparent caucus counting errors.
"I'm content, but it didn't need to happen this way," Bunce said. "It was just human error and some chaos."
Dan Burdish, the Nevada field director for the Gingrich campaign, said every presidential operation and party official agreed to allow as many ballots to be verified as possible even though there were some discrepancies.
Dozens of ballots questioned by the campaigns were handwritten. Others came from more than 100 precincts where the ballot count didn't match a sign-in sheet of caucus-goers because a few Republicans forgot to sign their names.
"All four campaigns were in agreement that we did not want to disenfranchise any voters," Burdish said.
Dave Gibbs, chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, said GOP leaders here did all they could to ease the presidential campaigns' worries during the meticulous hand count that lasted until 4 a.m. Sunday, restarted at 9 a.m. and then finished more than 12 hours later.
More than 17,000 ballots were hand counted, including hundreds from the more than 100 precincts where the ballot count didn't match the number of caucus-goers on the sign-in sheet.
In most cases, the precinct captain and other leaders forgot to sign the sheet, and so the campaigns all agreed to forgive discrepancies of up to five votes no matter who won the individual precincts.
The campaigns also agreed, after some tense moments during the day, to allow the county to verify handwritten ballots as well because some precincts didn't receive the official blue straw poll ballots during their caucus meetings.
Instead, some caucus-goers wrote their presidential picks on white delegate slips, the party said. At one caucus site in Sun City Anthem, hand-made ballots were used as well.
"We counted every ballot in Clark County," said Gibbs, who managed the vote verification Saturday and Sunday. "No one can say we didn't scrutinize and verify every vote."
David Gallagher, executive director of the Nevada Republican Party, said the problem ballots were put into a "trouble box" to be scrutinized and counted last, precinct by precinct, by the campaigns and local, state and national party officials. Only about 100 to 400 ballots were questioned, he said.
Each campaign had one representative at the table during the verification process as each precinct envelope was opened and the ballots were counted and recorded.
Asked if there was any evidence of fraud or ballot-box stuffing, Gallagher said, "Not that I'm aware of."
Only one envelope full of 10 Romney ballots was thrown out completely because it was unsealed and didn't include a sign-in sheet, according to Gibbs, who said it was fishy.
Other than that, he said a dozen or more ballots were thrown out because they were filled out too late.
The Paul campaign had insisted Saturday night on a hand count to verify all the ballots before releasing final vote tallies, one GOP insider said, noting there was a midnight showdown that got tense. The lawyers returned Sunday.
Attorneys for all four Republican presidential campaigns monitored the process. State party officials and representatives of the Republican National Committee also were present to oversee certifying the ballots.
Outgoing Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian met Sunday morning at the Clark County GOP headquarters with county, state and national party representatives and attorneys to sort things out to avoid legal action.
"It'll be accurate," Tarkanian said. "It won't be another Iowa."
Romney was initially declared winner of the Iowa caucuses in early January, but the state party later announced that Santorum was the official winner by a hair after a certified recount.
The Nevada state party released results via Twitter at @nvgop.
Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal .com or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.