Democrat Kai Hagen has unofficially secured an at-large seat on the county council, but the District 1 race remains too close to call, according to results released by the Board of Elections Wednesday night.
Election workers counted provisional ballots on Wednesday, and as of Wednesday night, Hagen now has 46,142 votes. Republicans Phil Dacey and Danny Farrar had 44,660 and 44,330 votes, respectively.
Election Director Stuart Harvey said Hagen should be elected, pending the certification of ballots Friday.
“Unofficially, I think he’s pretty safe ... the fight is obviously for the second seat,” Harvey said.
Hagen said he expects to be on the council, pending any unforeseen circumstances.
“We have felt very comfortable really since election night, because we knew what the lead was,” Hagen said. “So far, pretty much the way it’s played out, it’s been true to form.”
Friday is the last day for ballots to be counted, pending any delays. Harvey believes roughly 1,100 absentee ballots will be counted then.
On top of that, about 500 provisional ballots from Wednesday were held until Friday, Harvey said. The Board of Elections has to do this because they might have received absentee ballots from the same voters.
If the board receives those absentee ballots before Friday, and they were postmarked on time, that would mean those voters cast a ballot twice, meaning neither ballot would count, according to state law.
District 1 — the race that is likely going to determine whether the council is a Democratic or Republican majority — was still too close to call as of Wednesday night.
Jerry Donald (D), the incumbent, leads Kevin Grubb (R) by a tally of 11,468 to 11,237 votes.
Donald said Wednesday night he felt “optimistic” about his chances, given his lead is growing while the number of ballots left to count is declining.
Grubb said he would wait until Friday for the final results. He said he trusts the electoral process.
“I have all the faith in the world in Stuart Harvey,” Grubb said. “I watched him count the absentee ballots the first day and I have trust in what he’s doing.”
Donald and Grubb said they would consider a recount, especially if the margin is less than .1 percent. According to Harvey, if the margin is that close, candidates can ask for a recount at no cost to them.
All election results are unofficial until all absentee and provisional ballots have been counted and certified. The Board of Elections is scheduled to certify the election after all ballots have been counted Friday.
Candidates have until three days after the election is certified to request a recount, according to Harvey.
The new council will be sworn in on Dec. 3.