Election judges process mail-in ballots at the Montgomery County Board of Elections canvass on Nov. 11. Credit: Ginny Bixby

As the mail-in ballot count continues in Montgomery County, the race for two District 9A seats in the Maryland General Assembly House of Delegates remains extremely tight.

Democrat Natalie Ziegler has a slight lead with 26.63% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Maryland State Board of Elections Friday. Democrat Chao Wu follows Ziegler closely with 26.35% of the vote. Republican Trent Kittleman is only 0.01% behind Wu with 26.34%.

Republican Jianning Jenny Zeng trails the other candidates with 20.61% of the vote.

Redistricting this year shifted the voting population of District 9A. About 80% of the voting population of the district is in Howard County, but redistricting shifted the remaining 20% of the 9A population into northern Montgomery County around Clarksburg and Damascus, removing it from Carroll County. All four candidates are from Howard County. 

In Montgomery County, Ziegler and Wu lead the candidates, with 2,495 and 2,453 votes respectively and Kittleman and Zeng garnering less than 2,000 votes each. In Howard County, Kittleman leads with 15,310, with Ziegler following closely with 14,976 votes and Wu with 14,839 votes. Zeng has received less than 12,000 votes in Howard County.

Friday was the last day local elections boards were able to receive mail-in ballots, provided they were postmarked by Nov. 8.


According to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, there are still about 30,000 ballots to be canvassed, not including any received Friday.

At least 92,716 mail-in ballots have been counted so far, according to Montgomery County Board of Elections Secretary David Naimon. Naimon said the board expects to certify the results of the election by Nov. 30.

There are also about 14,000 provisional ballots to canvass, but the board will likely wait until all mail-in ballots are processed before processing them, Naimon said


In the race for Montgomery County Board of Education District 5 state, incumbent Brenda Wolff is maintaining a lead of nearly 5%. She told Bethesda Beat earlier this week that she does not plan to make a declaration until all votes are counted.

Wolff’s challenger, Valerie Coll, gave a similar statement.

“I appreciate the care and time this takes to manage and I’m going to respect that process.  With our vote separation moving from nearly 7% down to less than 1% and now up to over 4%, that kind of fluctuation tells me to simply wait until the count is finished,” Coll wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat.