WASHINGTON – Prince George’s County finished tallying votes for the 4th District Congressional race Friday, but more than a week after the primary election, U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn and challenger Donna Edwards, who are separated by fewer than 3,000 votes, are still waiting for a winner.
The total Friday gave Wynn 40,617 votes to Edwards’ 37,795.
Montgomery County — the district includes parts of it and Prince George’s County — has yet to finish counting its 10,000 to 12,000 provisional ballots.
Montgomery County election officials worked until 11 p.m. Thursday sorting those ballots. Fewer than 5,000 provisional ballots remain to count before the results are certified.
Election officials will reconvene Saturday afternoon if they don’t complete the count today, said Marjorie Rohrer, spokeswoman for the board. She said it’s unknown how many of the remaining ballots pertain to the District 4 race.
By law, the county must certify the results by Monday. “We should be ready for certification on time, despite the larger number of provisionals,” Rohrer said.
Prince George’s County’s votes still need a final check from the state before they are certified, however the county has finished sorting through approximately 3,700 provisional ballots and more than 2,000 absentee ballots, and it has unlocked machines from 26 precincts to retrieve voting cards.
“I have their final numbers, it’s just a matter of logistics,” said Donna Duncan, director of the elections management division for the state board. “I’ll consider it certified at this point.”
On Wednesday, the county held a news conference to unlock some suspect machines. At that time, thousands of votes still remained to be tallied.
The quick turnaround from Prince George’s raised some eyebrows, including Edwards’ lawyer, Jonathan Shurberg. “Am I surprised? Yes,” he said. “I’m not quite sure what they did to get there. That will be one of the questions we’ll ask when we get there.”
The hotly contested race has drawn a lot of attention from voters and analysts who say Edwards’ grassroots campaign, which she launched in April, has given Wynn, a seven-term incumbent, the toughest fight in his congressional career.
The election has been plagued with problems in both counties. Voters struggled to cast ballots in Montgomery County, and the vote counting process in Prince George’s County has raised questions about the validity of the results.
Edwards announced plans to pursue a lawsuit last Friday against the Prince George’s County Board of Elections, but halted legal action this week saying she’ll determine her course after there is an official announcement.
“I’ve said all along that I’ll wait until all the votes are counted” before making a statement, Edwards said.
Wynn has kept relatively quiet while the counting continued.
“Mr. Wynn respects the rights of the voters and is patiently awaiting the results,” said Alon Kupferman, spokesman for the congressman. “After the final votes are tallied Mr. Wynn will comment about the results.”