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Elections

More than 9,000 Howard County ballots left to count today and Friday, as school board seats hang in the balance

More than 3,000 provisional ballots and 5,200 mail-in ballots from Howard County voters will be counted Wednesday, according to Board of Elections Director Guy Mickley, leaving about 1,000 ballots for a final canvassing session Friday, the same day local election results are certified by the state board and posted online.

“We’re just very tired and we’ll be very happy when we’re finished counting all these ballots,” said Mickley as he headed into Wednesday’s canvassing at the Kenneth Ulman Innovation Hub in Columbia.

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All Democratic county council incumbents — Liz Walsh of District 1, Opel Jones of District 2, Christiana Rigby of District 3 and Deb Jung of District 4 — lead their races by wide margins and are poised for reelection. Democrat Joan Pontius currently trails incumbent David Yungmann, a Democrat, by 1,810 votes in District 5, according to unofficial election results posted on the State Board of Elections website.

“It’s mathematically possible that I could win, but I’m not really expecting to overcome that deficit,” Pontius said.

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Two at-large Board of Elections seats remain highly competitive among three candidates.

Jacky McCoy, of Columbia, leads the race with 49,665 votes (27.36%), followed by Linfeng Chen, of North Laurel, with 48,198 (26.55%), Dan Newberger, of Columbia, with 46,960 (25.87%) and Tudy Adler, of Clarksville, with 35,768 (19.70%), according to unofficial posted vote counts.

While Chen held an initial lead after Election Day tallies were released, McCoy was boosted to first by a strong performance in mail-in ballots, where she has received 13,122 votes to Chen’s 9,178, according to unofficial results posted to the State Board of Elections website Nov. 11.

Newberger, who finished first in the July primary election, has received the second-most mail-in ballot votes after last week, with 12,516.

While mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 8 and received by the county board by 10 a.m., Friday are eligible to be counted, Mickley does not expect to receive many more ballots.

Official certification of election results will take place Friday; new school board and county council members will be sworn in Dec. 5.


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