Will a recount produce Maryland election results?

Blog post by Larry Richardson

Larry Richardson is the vice president of government affairs at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. He is an attorney who brings over 25 years of lobbying experience to the Chamber where he advocates on behalf of the Maryland business community to grow jobs and reduce regulations.

 

While the smell of turkey still lingers in the air, the candles are burning low and there’s only one last serving of grandma’s famous green bean casserole. As the dinner conversation shifts from travel to the weather, you brace yourself as it ultimately turns to—the midterm election results.

PREPARE TO TALK POLITICS

A little over a month ago, just prior to the start of early voting, we sought to highlight the importance of this election and the potential impact the business community could have on shaping the next four years of Maryland policy and politics.

Two weeks ago, the day after Election Day, we provided you a quick-take review of the results, with one caution: “While the final results for several seats in the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates will not be settled until the count of absentee and provisional ballots—and perhaps a full recount in one or two districts—the incoming makeup for the 2019 Maryland General Assembly appears to be lighter on the Republican side, and a bit more progressive on the Democratic side.”

As of November 17th, the early, election day, absentee, and provisional votes have been counted and the numbers have changed—the Republican House of Delegates is now one incumbent lighter.

WHAT HAPPENED?

When the polls closed election night, Anne Arundel County’s District 33 Republican incumbent Tony McConkey held a 645-vote lead over Democratic challenger Heather Bagnall. Following the inclusion of absentee and provisional ballots, Bagnall appears to have captured one of the three seats in that district with a 185-vote lead over Delegate McConkey—an 830-vote shift.

Under Maryland law, a candidate for state office has until December 14th to request a recount. If the numbers in this race survive a recount request, this will establish a Democratic gain of eight seats in the House of Delegates.

WILL THERE BE MORE CHANGES?

The imbalance of party-line votes cast in the absentee and provisional ballots was not unique to the District 33 race.  In a number of races, Democratic candidates finished with higher vote totals in those categories than their Republican counterparts.

We are waiting for the release of the final voter turnout numbers from the Maryland Board of Elections, which will not occur until the results are certified as final on December 11th and the deadline for requesting a recount has passed on December 14th.

Remember as you pass the pumpkin pie and discuss politics, that there are several contests that could see a recount request. To see what the General Assembly is going to look like, as of now, going into the 2019 session, check out the 2019 Maryland General Assembly Composition form.


Concerns about this year’s session? Sign up for our Meet the State event on January 23rd and make your voice heard!


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