Recount confirms Elrich victory in Montgomery County Democratic primary

The marathon Democratic primary for Montgomery County, Maryland, executive came to an end Wednesday, as the recount confirming the victory of incumbent Marc Elrich over businessman David Blair was certified.

The recount at the Germantown Recreation Center began on Friday. Blair requested the recount last week, after the certification of the results found him 35 votes behind Elrich out of nearly 140,000 votes cast.

The final margin was 32 votes. Elrich defeated Blair by 77 votes in 2018.

Blair said in a statement that he had called Elrich “to wish him the best over the next four years.”

The original count found Erlich topped Blair by 35 votes. In the recounting process, Blair gained a total of 10 votes; Erlich, seven.

Kevin Karpinski, the lawyer for the Board of Elections, explained during the meeting certifying the recount that candidates could gain votes for various reasons – the most common being that a machine rejected a ballot where a pair of human eyes could tell who, the voter preferred. For example, a voter circled Erlich’s or Blair’s name instead of darkening the oval next to their name. or darkened the ovals next to both and then wrote “yes” next to one of the names.

He added that there were between 44,000 and 45,000 ballots to count manually: “We had 40 to 50 teams, anywhere from 80 to 100 people a day, doing that from basically 9:30 in the morning until 7 o’clock at night.”

Elrich will face Republican Reardon Sullivan, the former chair of the county GOP, in November.

WTOP’s Michelle Murillo contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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