The attorney for county executive candidate David T. Blair has informed the Montgomery County Board of Elections that the campaign will formally seek a recount in the June 26 Democratic primary, a contest Blair lost to Marc B. Elrich by 79 votes.
The request is being described as a “partial recount.” According to an official, the Blair team will seek to have all absentee and provisional ballots recounted, along with votes cast in two precincts — Potomac Recreation Center and Haillie West Middle School in Clarksburg.
The campaign has until the close of business today to file the paperwork making the request official.
Because the campaign is not making a request for a manual recount of all 129,339 ballots cast, the process could go more quickly and will likely be less costly, the official said.
Last weekend, the elections board informed the Blair campaign that it would cost an estimated $189,000 to recount all votes cast.
Had he come within .1 percent of Elrich, or 75 votes, Blair would have been entitled to a county-funded recount. Because he was 79 votes shy, he’ll have to pay for it himself, unless the do-over positions him as the top vote-getter, in which case there is no charge.
The elections board will begin its recount in another race, a House of Delegates contest in District 16, encompassing much of the Bethesda area, on Friday morning.
In that race, Sara Love, former policy director for the ACLU, defeated teacher and systems analyst Samir Paul by eight votes for the third and final slot. That margin was well within the .1 percent threshold, so costs are absorbed by the county.
Elections officials expect the District 16 recount to last a couple days. Recount teams are working the weekend to complete the process as quickly as possible.
Assuming Blair files his formal request paperwork by the close of business today, July 19, the recount in that race will begin Sunday or Monday.