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The Aegis
Harford County

Reilly declared winner of Harford County Council seat in vote recount

James Reilly has won the Harford County Council District D Republican primary over John B. Carl, Jr. by 11 votes following a recount Tuesday at the Harford County Board of Elections.

Reilly received 2,862 votes and Carl received 2,851. Other candidates Emily Greene and David Seman received 1,035 and 557 votes respectively. There were 741 undervotes and three overvotes, and those ballots do not count.

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The recount took about three hours Tuesday morning. The board started at 9 a.m. and announced the results just before noon. The board’s elections director Stephanie Taylor said the recount went “amazingly well,” and that she originally thought it would take two days to finish.

Three precincts had discrepancies in the recounting, but those votes were triple checked with the surveillance of Carl and Del. Teresa Reilly, James Reilly’s wife.

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“I thought the race as a whole between Jim and [John] Carl was very upstanding and professional,” Teresa Reilly said. “They ran a good race, but only one person could be the winner and as his spouse, I’m extremely excited that it was Jim.”

Following the Harford County Board of Elections’ third and final vote-counting canvass Friday, which showed the same 11-vote margin, Carl filed a petition for a recount.

“As close as it was, I think we need to do a recount,” Carl said. “It was really close.”

But with the results certified, James Reilly had already claimed victory.

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“I appreciate the win,” Reilly said Monday. “I wish it was a little more, so we didn’t have to have a recount.”

Reilly added that if he were Carl, he would have also filed for a recount.

All Republican ballots in County Council District D were recounted. The ballots were hand-counted in 13 teams of four. The tables were handed batches of approximately 50 ballots.

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Carl said he’s “not a fan” of mail-in ballots. Carl led Election Day totals with 41.8% of the vote, ahead of Reilly’s 36.1%. Reilly, however, caught up once the mail-in and provisional ballots were counted, with 53.1% of those votes, ahead of Carl’s 25%. Reilly also led among early voters.

“I wish the results were different, but that’s fine,” Carl said. “Not bad for the first time out of the gate. Six months ago, nobody had even heard of me in the political realm.”


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