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Board Won't Count At-Large Write-Ins Until Nov. 5th

About 40 to 50 election workers will begin counting write-in votes at 9 a.m. the day after the election in the District, putting off the results of the hotly contested race for two at-large seats on the D.C. Council.

Council member Carol Schwartz (R), who lost the GOP primary last month, has mounted a write-in campaign to retain her seat.

The campaign has added another layer to an election that officials already expect to draw a record number of voters. So far, about 7,000 people have voted in-person absentee, crowding the lobby of the city's building at Judiciary Square, said Board of Elections and Ethics spokesman Dan Murphy. Another 16,000 absentee ballots have been mailed to voters who requested them.

The elections board, already under fire for a debacle with phantom votes in the September primary, has also stumbled in the general election.

Last week, it was revealed that 126 voters had received incorrect absentee ballots -- a mistake that cast doubts on whether the board is prepared for Tuesday.

Board chairman Errol R. Arthur released information about the write-ins and the absentee ballots in a news briefing this morning.

Arthur said 2,400 poll workers have been trained so far. The agency normally recruits 1,500 workers for Election Day.

"We believe we have more than enough poll workers," he said.

Nikita Stewart

By Marcia Davis  |  October 30, 2008; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  2008 District Election  
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