Election officials in Prince George’s County began recounting ballots for a legislative district race Monday, Aug. 22, but it may take three days to complete and possibly certify the votes later in the week.
The count from last month’s primary election focuses on District 23 where Kym Taylor of Bowie won the third and final spot with 8,957 votes for the Democratic nomination.
Jocelyn Collins trailed in fourth place by only 19 votes, so she filed a petition for a recount.
Because Collins trails by .11%, she can request a recount and her campaign doesn’t have to pay for it.
The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation this year for candidates who petition for a recount must be down by at least .25%. The previous figure stood at 1%.
How to calculate the recount figure to garner a recount can be found here.
The top two vote-getters in the District 23 race include Del. Marvin Holmes Jr. (10,382 votes) and Bowie City Council member Adrian Boafo (9,237 votes).
Election Administrator Alisha Alexander said about 15 teams in groups of four continue to recount the ballots that include voting at Bowie City gymnasium used as an early voting precinct. The gymnasium recorded the highest number of voters on seven of the eight early voting days, according to Maryland Board of Elections data.
Maryland law doesn’t allow the counting of mail-in ballots until after Election Day, specifically two days later.
“We would’ve been done with the mail-in ballots and done with the recount,” Alexander said. “I’m a proponent of counting ballots earlier. The more ballots we have counted on the front end of the process, the less chance there is for us to begin receiving conspiracy theories of what we’re doing with the ballots and [alleged] fraudulent activity. It makes it a lot easier for us administratively.”
The state board voted Aug. 15 to file an emergency petition in circuit court to allow local election boards to count mail-in ballots as soon as they arrive during the Nov. 8 general election.
A statement from the state board mentions Maryland remains the only state in the nation to continue that mail-in ballot process.
Results in another Prince George’s legislative district race also recorded close results.
Tiffany Alston, who won the third and final spot in the Democratic nomination to represent District 24, garnered 7,920 votes ahead of LaTasha Ward who received 7,819 votes.
Alston, a former state delegate who sought public office for a third time, claimed the final spot by 101 votes, or .64%. Ward did not request a recount for which her campaign would have had to incur the cost as the margin of her loss was above the .25% threshold.
In neighboring Montgomery County, election officials anticipated certifying the recount results by Wednesday, Aug. 24 from the Democratic race between County Executive Marc Elrich and businessman David Blair.
Blair, who trailed by 35 votes after the state certified the results this month, gained one vote in the early voting recount to trail by 34 votes.
The vote tabulation for the remaining ballots didn’t change Blair’s deficit.
If Elrich maintains the lead to garner the nomination, he will face Republican Reardon Sullivan in the general election.
About 100 election workers tabulated about 145,000 ballots in the recount that began Friday, Aug. 19.
“You’re free to go after you’ve signed out. We’d like to thank you very much for all your hard work,” Kevin Karpinski, attorney for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said Monday to a round of applause for the workers.