More than a month after primary Election Day, the results of the Democratic race for county executive are expected to be finalized tomorrow, with incumbent Marc Elrich positioned to win if the current tally of a recount remains unchanged.
Elrich, of Takoma Park, currently leads challenger David Blair of Potomac by 32 votes according to the preliminary results of the recount. Montgomery County Board of Elections workers spent Tuesday auditing more than 75,000 mail-in ballots, the last of the ballots to be reviewed before the board was set to meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. to review and certify the results of the recount.
Before the recount, certified results of the primary election showed Elrich with 55,497 votes and Blair with 55,462 votes — giving Elrich a 35-vote win. Blair requested a full manual recount of all paper ballots, leading elections board workers from Montgomery County and other jurisdictions to spend three days counting more than 140,000 ballots in a gym at Germantown Community Center beginning Aug. 19.
Montgomery County Board of Elections workers then spent a fourth day in that gym reviewing ballots, before the audit on Tuesday.
Blair and Elrich each gained votes during the recount process:
- Blair gained one vote from the tally of early voting ballots. Elrich gained none.
- Blair and Elrich each gained four votes from the recount of Election Day ballots.
- Neither gained votes after provisional ballots were counted.
- Blair tentatively gained five votes from the count of mail-in ballots, while Elrich gained three. Elections board workers were still auditing those ballots as of Tuesday evening
The recount so far has brought Elrich’s vote total to 55,504 votes and Blair’s tally to 55,472 votes — resulting in the 32-vote advantage for the incumbent.
After the primary, Elrich claimed victory during news briefings and at events in recent weeks, saying he believed the recount would not change the ultimate results. Blair has not conceded and could not be reached for comment via phone or text message Tuesday evening.
The contest is a rematch of the 2018 primary in which Elrich beat Blair by 79 votes. Blair requested a partial recount and Elrich ultimately defeated him by 77 votes after a review of roughly 15,000 votes.