While many state and local candidates have declared victory, the election isn’t over. About 40,000 mail-in ballots still need to be processed in Montgomery County, elections officials say.
The Montgomery County Board of Elections resumed canvassing Tuesday morning after a two-day break. During the canvass, bipartisan teams of election judges review mail-in ballots to ensure there are no errors or issues, before the ballots are then scanned in by the elections board. Recently, election judges have been canvassing ballots at a rate of about 10,000 ballots a day.
Currently, the unofficial results on the Maryland State Board of Elections website include all ballots cast during Early Voting and Election Day and 71,657 mail-in ballots, including all the mail-in ballots that were canvassed before Election Day.
The elections board sent out 142,485 mail-in and web delivery ballots to Montgomery County residents, which significantly outnumbers mail-in and web delivery ballot requests in other parts of Maryland. According to state election data, Anne Arundel County had the second highest number of mail-in and web delivery ballot requests at 70,158.
The board will be accepting ballots in the mail until 10 a.m. on Friday as long as they were postmarked on Nov. 8, Election Day.
David Naimon, Montgomery County Board of Elections secretary, said there are about 14,000 provisional ballots, but the board doesn’t know yet how many of these will end up being counted.
“A majority of provisional ballots usually are counted, but we wouldn’t count a provisional ballot for anyone whose mail-in ballot was counted first,” Naimon wrote in an email. “We also have many voters who voted by provisional ballot because they were out of their home precinct, and they could have some of their votes counted (such as for statewide and countywide offices) but would only have votes for district offices count if they’re in the same districts.”
Naimon said the goal is to be finished processing ballots before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Locally, the race for the District 5 seat on the Board of Education remains tightest. As of the latest unofficial results posted Monday night, incumbent Brenda Wolff was leading challenger Valerie Coll by 8,857 votes, or 51.71%.
Wolff told Bethesda Beat in an email she is waiting until all the ballots are counted to make any announcement. Coll couldn’t be reached by press time.