Marc Elrich had a 42 vote lead going into Saturday’s canvassing of 102 provisional ballots that were found unopened and sealed during an audit on Thursday. The ballots were canvassed, scanned, and tabulated starting at 11am Saturday morning and the unofficial final result gives Marc Elrich a 35 vote lead. The Board of Elections will meet at 3pm to certify the election results and David Blair is expected to request a recount.
If a recount petition is filed, election officials must work at least eight hours for each day of the recount and may choose to pause the recount on Sundays and holidays, per the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Recount Guide by the Maryland Board of Elections: A recount is the process of resolving a challenge to the final vote count reported for an election. A recount is limited to votes counted in a single contest and may include votes cast at early voting centers, election day precincts or by mail-in or provisional ballot, as specified in a recount petition made to a local board of elections, the State Board of Elections (SBE), or pursuant to a court order. A recount may include precincts in more than one county.
There are four recount options:
- Option 1: A manual tabulation of printed reports from early voting, election day, and the mail-in and provisional ballot canvasses. Printed reports from precinct tabulators and high speed scanners (if available) are examined and manually tabulated
- Option 2: A re-scan of voted paper ballots involved in the recount using precinct tabulators or high speed scanner (if available) to reproduce early voting, precinct or mail-in or provisional ballot canvass totals
- Option 3: A manual recount of voted paper ballots involved in the recount
- Option 4: A manual recount of ballot images of voted ballots involved in the recount
Petition for Recount
A candidate cannot petition for a recount if the margin of difference between the two candidates with the most votes is greater than 5% of the votes cast for those two candidates.
Counterpetition for Recount
An opposing candidate of the petitioner may file a counterpetition if the recount petition did not request a recount all of the precincts in which the office was on the ballot and, if on completion of the recount, the winner of the election is changed. The counter-petition must be filed within 2 days after the determination of the recount. See, Elec. Law § 12-102.
Recount on a Question
The same petition and counterpetition rules also apply to a recount on a question. The only difference is that any registered voter who was eligible to vote for the question may be the petitioner or counterpetitioner. See, Elec. Law § 12-103; 12-104.
A voter cannot petition for a recount of a ballot question if the margin of difference between the number of votes cast for and the number of votes cast against the question is greater than 5%.
Cost of a Recount
The petitioner shall pay the cost of the recount requested. SBE will determine an estimate for the approximate cost of the recount. The petitioner is not liable for the costs of the recount if: