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Final count of city primary ballots is complete

Posted at 6:27 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 18:27:02-04

The Baltimore City Board of Elections spent Friday counting the final ballots in the race to become the Democratic nominee for Mayor.  Staff finished counting provisional and absentee ballots.

On election night, former Mayor Sheila Dixon and State Sen. Catherine Pugh were about 3,000 votes apart.  Unofficially, Dixon gained 139 votes since election night, meaning it still looks like Pugh is still in the lead.

About two dozen staffers poured over thousands of ballots since last week's primary election, meticulously counting every vote.  Dixon watched the count for most of the day, her camp hopeful the numbers would be in her favor.

A total of 3,000 ballots were rejected, 79 percent of them because the person was unaffiliated with a party, and not allowed to vote in the state's closed election.  The unofficial results have Dixon with 46,219 total votes and Pugh at 48,665 total votes, but those still need to be certified.  That’s a difference of just 2,446 votes.

"What we do is send the numbers that we have gathered here to the state board and they review those numbers and look at them and then they'll send a certification sheet here for the board to sign," said Baltimore Election Director Armstead Jones.

The numbers are expected to be certified Monday.  After that, Dixon's campaign has three days to ask for a recount.

The Democratic nominee will face Republican Alan Walden in the November election.

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