Baltimore County Democrats might not learn who their nominee is for county executive until next week, according to county elections officials.
That’s how long it might take them to review and count about 1,600 provisional ballots — many of which could affect the race for the Democratic nomination.
The Democratic primary is too close to call, with former Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr. holding a 42-vote lead over state Sen. Jim Brochin. County Councilwoman Vicki Almond is third, 1,059 votes behind Olszewski.
Elections officials have counted ballots from early voting, Election Day and some absentee ballots.
On Thursday and Friday, elections officials will count the remaining absentee ballots and provisional ballots.
Between Democrats, Republicans and others, about 2,500 provisional ballots were cast in the county. More than 900 were rejected for reasons such as not being registered or voting on the wrong party’s ballot, said Katie Brown, Baltimore County’s elections director.
On Thursday, elections officials will start counting Republican provisional ballots.
After that, they will begin reviewing Democratic ballots, allowing representatives from the campaigns to review the information that elections judges use in determining whether provisional ballots are valid.
Elections officials warned that the process could last into Friday and possibly next week.
Officials won’t tally the votes from the provisional ballots until all of them are reviewed.
A number of absentee ballots will also be counted Friday. Elections officials don’t have a total number of remaining absentees because they are still receiving ballots in the mail that were postmarked by Election Day.
Tucker Cavanagh, Olszewski’s campaign manager, said he expects the campaigns will be able to review information that elections officials have from both a state voter database and a Motor Vehicle Administration database.
Days before the primary, state officials announced that they had discovered that tens of thousands of Marylanders who made updates to their voter registration through the MVA did not have that information sent on to elections officials.
“It’s important to count every vote, especially with the MVA glitch. ... We wanted to make sure we had all the information about on what grounds the board is determining which provisionals count and which don’t,” Cavanagh said.
Brochin said he’s looking forward to soon having results after an intense campaign season.
“I feel very confident in the system that the Board of Elections has and the people who are administering the vote,” Brochin said. “I just want people to allow them to do their jobs. We’ll see how it turns out.”
Almond’s campaign could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican Al Redmer Jr. in November’s general election.
The next county executive will succeed Don Mohler, who was appointed to the job in May following the death of Kevin Kamenetz. Kamenetz, a Democrat, was finishing his second term as county executive and running for governor when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest May 10.