Aug. 1—Frederick County election officials on Monday certified the results of the July 19 primary, starting a three-day clock for the County Council president to request a recount in the race she lost by three votes.
Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer lost the Democratic nomination for the council's District 3 seat to challenger Jazmin Di Cola, who received 2,300 votes to Keegan-Ayer's 2,297.
Keegan-Ayer, who has been the council's president since 2018, has until the close of business Thursday to request a recount, said Frederick County Elections Director Barbara Wagner.
Keegan-Ayer said in an interview on Monday that she is consulting with her campaign team, evaluating the pros and cons, before deciding whether to ask for a recount.
If Keegan-Ayer requests a recount, Wagner said, officials would need about a day to alert and gather canvassers and prepare for the process. The counting itself would likely take another day, Wagner said.
Under state law, the county would be required to pay for the recount because the margin between Keegan-Ayer and Di Cola is less than 0.25%. Candidates who request recounts in races with wider margins generally must pay for it themselves, with some exceptions.
Keegan-Ayer could ask officials to recount every vote cast in the primary, or to focus on certain categories. She could call for a recount of just mail-in or provisional votes, for example, or votes from specific precincts or early voting centers.
Candidates can also choose how they want officials to carry out the recount. Most often, candidates ask for a manual recount of paper ballots, Wagner said.
Other options include rescanning the ballots through the same machines that counted them originally or manually adding up the totals generated by those machines.
The Frederick County Board of Elections hasn't done a recount since 2010, said President Mary Lou Green, when then-Delegate Paul Stull finished the District 4A Republican primary just seven votes behind Kelly Schulz.
Canvassers found one uncounted absentee ballot among the 171 provisional and absentee ballots that Stull requested be included in the recount, according to Frederick News-Post archives.
The final tally had Schulz winning by six votes.
There are 17 precincts in the County Council's District 3, which encompasses the west side of Frederick. In all, 4,597 Democratic voters cast ballots in the race.
Di Cola, a business owner and community organizer, said she ran to better represent working families, Spanish speakers, immigrant communities and women on the west side of the city.
If her victory holds, Di Cola will face former Frederick Alderman Shelley Aloi, who ran unopposed for the Republican District 3 nomination, in the November general election.
Aloi is the executive director of the Marriage Resource Center of Frederick County Inc.
Follow Jillian Atelsek on Twitter: @jillian_atelsek