Annapolis mayoral race to be decided Thursday

  • Pamela Johnson, Michael Parmele and Peter Wirig (left to right) of the Annapolis Board of Supervisors of Elections speak to supporters of mayoral candidate Mike Pantelides and reporters in City Hall on Tuesday night.
Pamela Johnson, Michael Parmele and Peter Wirig (left to right)… (Sun photo by Pamela Wood )
November 06, 2013|By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

The Annapolis mayoral election won't be decided until at least Thursday, when elections officials tally votes from a problematic voting machine and from absentee ballots.

The unofficial results from Tuesday's election — not counting the broken machine — had Republican challenger Mike Pantelides up 84 votes over incumbent Democratic Mayor Josh Cohen, 3,728 to 3,644.

Pantelides' supporters believe there may be at least 100 votes on the problematic machine, which was used at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Library.

There could be more than 300 absentee ballots to count on Thursday. Elections officials declined to say Tuesday night how many absentee ballots were mailed to voters, but earlier in the day they told The Baltimore Sun that 329 absentee ballots were requested. Cohen told his supporters he thought there were about 325 absentee ballots.

Both mayoral candidates were optimistic about their chances to win the election.

Cohen told his supporters at Crush Winehouse on Tuesday night that he thinks he'll "squeak out" a victory.

Pantelides, in an interview, said he was "feeling good" and thinks the absentee ballots will end up in his favor.

The Pantelides campaign, however, was not feeling good about the problematic voting machine.

Pantelides campaign representatives and Republican party officials — including a lawyer — went to City Hall late on Tuesday night to check on the status of the machine.

They camped out in a ground-floor hallway until the three-member Board of Supervisors of Elections came out to meet with them.

Board member Peter Wirig said there was a "technical issue" with the machine, but declined to elaborate. He said the machine was sealed and locked at the library and wouldn't be unsealed until the official vote count and absentee canvass on Thursday morning.

Pantelides was not at City Hall but said later that he wants to make sure votes are counted properly.

"We're worried about that machine…Who's sitting out there watching it?" Pantelides said.

In addition to the tight mayoral race, voters also selected eight aldermen to sit on the Annapolis City Council for the next four years.

In Ward 1, Democratic Alderman Joe Budge beat Republican Allen Furth, 780 to 579.

In Ward 2, Republican Alderman Fred Paone beat Democrat Kurt Riegel, 760 to 709.

In Ward 3, Democrat Rhonda Pindell Charles ran unopposed and won 574 votes.

In Ward 4, Democratic Alderwoman Sheila Finlayson ran unopposed and won 277 votes.

In Ward 5, Democratic Alderman Jared Littmann ran unopposed and won 544 votes.

In Ward 6, Democratic Alderman Kenneth Kirby beat independent Steven Conn, 317 to 260.

In Ward 7, Democratic Alderman Ian Pfeiffer beat Republican James T. Clenny, 433 to 269.

In Ward 8, Democratic Alderman Ross Arnett ran unopposed and won 993 votes.

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