Glendening lead unlikely to be wiped out, officials say, but GOP foe presses on

November 16, 1994|By From Staff Reports

With only 1,400 or so votes left to be counted statewide, Democrat Parris N. Glendening's apparent margin of victory stood at 5,405 last night as state officials put the finishing touches to their tally sheets.

The count showed last night that Mr. Glendening had 706,531 votes to Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey's 701,126.

Election boards have until 4 p.m. Friday to receive absentee ballots from overseas, and the final tally is not expected until early next week. The state Board of Canvassers is scheduled to certify the election results on Dec. 7.

The final Baltimore County tally showed 3,739 absentee ballots for Mrs. Sauerbrey and 2,442 for Mr. Glendening. Even as the race drew to a close, both sides continued to contest votes -- the Glendening camp challenged 1,225 of the Sauerbrey ballots, and the Sauerbrey camp challenged 731 of the Glendening ballots in the county.

Challenged ballots have been counted into the official tally. But at the request of the candidates' lawyers, they have been set aside pending any court action.

Overall, Mrs. Sauerbrey did slightly better in the absentee balloting in the county (61 percent) than she did with voters who went to the polls (57 percent).

Despite the statewide numbers, the Sauerbrey camp refused to concede.

"When we get access to the records, and can do our investigation, we will do it as expeditiously as possible," said Sauerbrey spokeswoman Carol L. Hirschburg.

"But nothing will be said as far as conceding until we are satisfied this was a fair and honest election," she said.

Mr. Glendening, meanwhile, scheduled a news conference for today at the State House to announce his initial transition plans.

"I think it's time to move on. . . . I think it's time to be gracious," he said at a College Park news conference yesterday. "No court is going to reverse the will of the people."

It is extremely unlikely that recounting at this point would wipe out the Glendening margin, according to state election officials. But until several of Maryland's election boards are finished with an official canvass of the votes, totals will continue to change. "They will change slightly. They will not change drastically," said Gene M. Raynor, state administrator of elections.

Nine of Maryland's 24 jurisdictions use computerized counting and won't change their totals at all. The others will likely be adjusting their figures -- as was the case in Baltimore City, where a canvass earlier this week showed Mr. Glendening getting 2,294 votes more than election officials originally reported. City election officials found an extra 305 votes for Mrs. Sauerbrey. This amounted to a net gain of 1,989 votes for Mr. Glendening.

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