Election canvass 2

Board of Elections member William Woodcock, center, examines a ballot at a canvass Wednesday at the Board of Elections.

The Frederick County Board of Elections finished counting ballots and certified election results Friday night — and the next County Council will have a Democratic majority.

Phil Dacey, a Republican, won the second at-large seat, with 45,017 votes. He tentatively joins Democrat Kai Hagen, who secured a seat earlier this week.

Danny Farrar, a Republican, finished behind him with 44,713 votes. Even though he could ask for a free recount under state law, he said by phone Friday night he wouldn’t ask for one, and would accept the results as they stand.

“Nothing but the best of luck to Kai [Hagen] and [Phil] Dacey,” Farrar said. “I hope they do great things for Frederick County.”

In that race, however, Susan Reeder Jessee, a Democrat, finished with 44,495 votes.

Dacey said that if the results hold, he’s “happy” about the win and looking forward to serving Frederick County.

“I appreciate all the exchanges I had with the fellow candidates,” he said by phone Friday night. “Getting to know them throughout the campaign was a pleasure.”

Reeder Jessee said by phone Friday night she was still deciding whether to request a recount.

“I would have to think more about it,” she said. “I just have a great trust in our Frederick County election system. ... I have to talk to my team, and if it’s something that people want, I’ll consider it.”

In the District 1 race, Democratic incumbent Jerry Donald was re-elected, getting 11,681 votes. His Republican challenger, Kevin Grubb, finished with 11,336 votes.

Donald thanked everyone who worked on his campaign in an interview Friday night.

“I thought it was a positive campaign overall,” Donald said. “I was happy to see so many more people vote in this election, whether it be Democrats, Republicans or unaffiliated voters.”

Grubb wished Donald the best of luck, and asked him and the new County Council to keep the citizens in mind.

“Just making services more accessible,” Grubb told The Frederick News-Post of one example. “People work from 8 to 4, and the county’s open from 8 to 4, and they [the county] need to think about that. ... People are working when the county is open, so they need to take time off.”

Pending any recount requests, the end of Friday marked an end of canvassing and ballot counting for many election workers. On Friday morning, roughly two dozen of them were counting absentee and provisional ballots, making sure they were completed legally.

Election Director Stuart Harvey said multiple factors could render a ballot unacceptable — from an absentee ballot being postmarked later than Election Day to voters putting an “identifying mark” — a signature or initials — on the ballot itself.

He added that he received a ballot at the post office from Korea on Friday morning, which was mailed on Oct. 15. Given that it was filled out correctly, it got to Frederick County just in time, he said.

“That’s like a major find — if you can enfranchise somebody who went to the trouble to get the absentee ballot, put it in a foreign mail system, and it took a month to get here,” Harvey said.

Bipartisan teams, made up of the best election judges in Frederick County, helped count and canvass the absentee and provisional ballots this week, Harvey said. Dan Loftus, counsel for the Board of Elections since 2005, said these workers and staff members make a “great team” for the local electoral system.

When it comes to controversial ballots, election workers take them to the Board of Elections, which is composed of two Democrats and three Republicans. The governor currently in power leads to which way the board leans, according to Harvey.

He added, however, that the board has to be unanimous in its decision. If they need help, they can consult Loftus.

“I do know election law,” Loftus said Friday. “Before I became the board attorney, I used to run political campaigns. ... That’s what I bring in terms of expertise: the knowledge of the law.”

He added that when it comes to checking ballots, it’s always safe to double-check certain statutes and aspects of the law.

“If there’s ever an issue, we look it up,” Loftus said. “I had a professor one time that said, just because you think you know what the law is, look it up.”

The deadline for any candidate to ask for a recount is by the end of Monday, according to state law.

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Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(36) comments


Go team! [rolleyes]


At least everyone on the Council appears sane which is a tremendous improvement!




Note to Phil Dacey.... you are expected to show up at meetings and be prepared. None of this "miss 30% of the meetings" crap.


Congratulations, Jerry!


That's great news. I am sure Mr. Grubb would have been a good Council member as well, but I like the continuity that Mr. Donald will provide from his current Council tenure. I don't know either gentleman but I like that Mr. Donald makes the effort to work well with the rest of the Council, which should be a baseline qualification. High hopes for this group with the addition of several well qualified people, and the fact that Mr. Delauter, Mr. Shreve, and Mr. Chmelik are returning to their previous endeavors.


CSP, i know Jerry and have met Grubb. Both are good people.


Glad to see Jerry got through!


Congratulations on the narrow win Mr. Donald.


Democrats and recounts are like Bonnie and Clyde, they help each other commit crimes!


Democrats ruined this years election for by voting! Worse yet, they voted for qualified, experienced leaders who have demonstrated public service credentials and integrity. Apparently a large number of Republicans also voted for Democrats and other honorable Republicans. That alone is a crime!
To make things worse, they sent e-mails to each other. Outrageous! Lock 'em up! Wait a minute, is that a caravan over in your neighbor's back yard?


[thumbup] Frederick fan


FF [lol][lol] Enough to make a Republican claim that someone is changing hats to vote again. Whoa, that already happened![lol]


On Mill Island that is no caravan. They are my neighbors and I love all of them.


Better to prevent them from voting, Johhny?

Comment deleted.

Board of Elections says Chuck 51.93% Karl 48% write in 0.7%. Barely a majority, only a 3.9% margin! A lot different than the 9% margin in 2014!! Looks promising for 2022. Along with a Democratic CE and a Democratic majority County Council. Congrats Jerry, and all you good folks who choose to serve this great community. Frederick County isa changing folks, from naysayers to yea sayers.


What a disgrace to politics and our election process. Democrats have ruined our election process by cheating all across America. Now we have a majority democrat county council who will go get drunk with taxpayer money just like the alderman do in the city. And now that the county council is mostly dem you will really see Frederick become a s**thole, just like our new mayor is. Can anyone on here state one good thing the new mayor has done in the last 2 years? What is he doing to promote new business to come to frederick like our last mayor did? We have a bunch of Keith Ellisons in government now in Frederick!


Mayor O'Connor: "Prior to becoming Mayor in 2017, Michael served as the business manager at Saint Katharine Drexel Roman Catholic Congregation in Frederick. He also spent nine years as adjunct faculty at Frederick Community College (2000-2009).

Michael was first elected to the Board of Alderman, in 2009, and re-elected in 2013. He has been the chair of the Streets and Sanitation Committee, and the aldermanic liaison to the Airport Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Celebrate Frederick, and Delaplaine Visual Arts Center Boards. He also represented the Alderman on the Blight and Vacant Property Task Force."


Now that you’ve told us how long he’s been getting paid by taxpayer money what has he done? What has he done to further progress Frederick city?


And what have you done?


Nonsense. Next you'll be talking about folks walking out to their cars, changing shirts and coming back in to vote a second time. Or maybe, the millions of immigrants voting. Or the caravan sending in votes.


Wrong, the immigrants from the caravan haven’t voted just yet! They’re hopping the fence now while you take your Xanax to help you sleep at night.


For someone who evidently cares about accurate and fair counting, you might want to recount (hee hee) how long the mayor has been in office. Here’s a hint: the number is less than 2.

Comment deleted.

Apparently you're completely wrong about that because there were three million more votes for Hillary Clinton then Donnie bone spurs and in this election there were Millions more votes for Democrats than Republicans. You losers will spin any story from your alternate reality to try to rationalize your ignorance! It's going to only get worse for you Repukes!

Comment deleted.



If this the new trend, then why vote anymore???????????????????


Probably the same thing Gore asked.


Susan, my absentee ballot is still not accepted as of today. It still says it is received despite the fact that Frederick County said they would count it by yesterday. So, there may be one more Vote out there for you.


Congratulations to Jerry and Phil. Should be a good Council.


Congrats to Jerry, but now we have a tree hugger and a no-show person on the council. Now let’s hope they don’t side with the city and spend tax payers money on the hotel.


They might do it. Why not show some hospitality to our visitors who need a place to overnight?


Hooray Jerry!!!


Congratulations Mr. Donald!

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