Baltimore elections workers are making their way through thousands of mail ballots, as the outcome of multiple City Council races remains unclear.

Counting will continue through the week with provisional ballots and late-arriving mail ballots that were postmarked in time — potentially making for a long and stressful week for candidates who are uncertain of their fates.

As of Monday evening, it was unclear who would be on track to win the Democratic primaries for three Baltimore City Council seats:

  • In the 8th District, Paris Gray held a 148-vote lead over Bilal Ali.
  • In the 11th District, incumbent Eric Costello held a 104-vote lead over challenger Zac Blanchard.
  • In the 12th District, challenger Jermaine Jones had 249 more votes than incumbent Robert Stokes Sr.

In heavily Democratic Baltimore City, winners of the Democratic primaries are nearly guaranteed to win in the fall general election.

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At the Baltimore City Board of Elections warehouse in West Baltimore on Monday, workers continued on the first round of counting ballots that were mailed or placed in dropboxes. About 9,000 mail ballots remained to be counted as of Sunday night, according to state data.

Workers were focused on the time-consuming task of reviewing ballots that voters had printed out at home and then returned. Bipartisan teams of workers must review each ballot and then recreate it on ballots that can be fed into the voting machines. The work is expected to continue into Tuesday.

The next step will be the counting of provisional ballots on Wednesday. These are ballots from in-person election day voting cast by voters who encountered issues such as an out-of-date registration or voting at the wrong location. Elections workers must review those ballots and determine if they can be counted in whole or in part.

Citywide, there are 6,344 provisional ballots to review, according to Abigail Goldman, deputy elections director for Baltimore.

The last step will be a final round of counting mail ballots on Friday. It’s not clear yet how many ballots will be in that batch; ballots that are still arriving in the mail are valid as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday.