The Baltimore County Board of Elections, in its role as the Board of Canvassers, will certify the June 26 primary election results Tuesday morning, starting the three-day clock for candidates to petition for a recount – a request to the board that state Sen. James Brochin is set to make in his bid to be county executive.
When all the votes were finally counted Friday night, Brochin lost by just nine votes to former Del. John A. “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. in a four-way race for the Democratic nomination for county executive in which nearly 85,000 votes were cast.
Brochin said he has every intention of asking for a manual recount of the ballots, though added that he was not sure when the petition might be filed. Under the law, he has three days to do so after the county board’s certification, which puts the deadline at Friday morning.
Once the petition is in hand, Baltimore County election officials have two days to begin the recount.
Olszewski maintained a narrow lead from the time the polls closed two weeks ago, finishing 361 votes ahead on election night. But after the final two precincts returns were counted and the first absentee ballots were tallied June 28, he was only 42 votes ahead of Brochin.
His lead over Brochin shrank even further, down to 7, at one point Friday, but then inched up to 9 votes by the final count.
In the end, Olszewski had 27,804 votes, followed immediately by Brochin with 27,795. A third candidate, County Councilwoman Vicki L. Almond, once thought to be a contender in the race, trailed Brochin by 960, having received 26,835 votes.
Another Democratic candidate, Kevin Francis Marron, who did not campaign, finished a distant fourth with 2,135 votes.
A last-minute discovery of a computer glitch at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration sent elections officials scrambling on the eve of the primary to determine the extent of a problem in which more than 83,000 voter registration changes made at the MVA were not transmitted to the State Board of Elections for processing.
The software hitch meant that any state resident who had attempted to make certain changes at the MVA and wanted to vote on Election Day had to use a provisional ballot. The programming error presented less of a problem than originally believed it would, elections officials said.