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Fate of Council seat comes down to 5,000 ballots

Wednesday - 4/11/2012, 4:06pm  ET

Mark Segraves, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The fate of one of the At-Large seats on the D.C. Council will come down to more than 5,000 ballots that have yet to be counted.

Only about 500 votes separate D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange and his closest challenger, former Councilmember Sekou Biddle. A count of absentee and special ballots on Friday will determine who will win the At-Large seat.

Officials at the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics will count the approximately 2,400 absentee ballots and the 3,000 provisional ballots that were cast -- but not counted -- on Election Day, according to Alysoun McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the DCBOEE.

Unofficial results from last Tuesday's primary have Orange ahead by 543 votes.

DCBOEE mailed out nearly 4,000 absentee ballots which had to be returned and post-marked by April 3 and counted within 10 days of the election.

In addition to the approximately 2,400 absentee ballots that were returned on time, officials will also count "special ballots."

Those include curbside ballots filed by people who are unable to physically walk into a polling place and are allowed to vote form their car, as well as provisional ballots, which are used when a person either registers to vote on Election Day or for some reason is not listed on the voter rolls.

The DCBOEE will announce the results of the count Friday evening.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)