Political newcomer Zac Blanchard held on to his slim lead over City Councilman Eric Costello in the nearly neck-and-neck race for Baltimore’s 11th District council seat.

The new totals give Blanchard a 36-vote advantage in South Baltimore’s hotly contested Democratic primary race. It’s one of three City Council races that remain too close to call.

Canvassers poured over almost 5,000 provisional and mail-in ballots Wednesday, more than initially expected. Of those, about 2,000 were rejected, and about 744 will be only “partially accepted,” or counted in statewide races, due largely to voters filling out ballots in the wrong council district or to unaffiliated voters erroneously participating in the May 14 closed primary, city Board of Elections representatives said Wednesday evening.

The other two council races remain nearly just as tight. Labor veteran Jermaine Jones continued to hold a slight edge in the count Wednesday against 12th District incumbent Robert Stokes Sr., while community outreach coordinator Paris Gray maintained his small advantage over former state Del. Bilal Ali in the open 8th District race.

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Jones now has 374 more votes than Stokes, slightly less than he had Tuesday, while Gray leads Ali by 236 votes, according to Wednesday’s totals.

The slow, tedious process of counting the votes has set off extra frustrations from candidates this year. Already, Blanchard said he has considered retaining an attorney due to “a couple issues” he had noticed with the election process this year.

“And in the event of a very close finish (which seems likely),” Blanchard wrote in a Saturday email, “we will be requesting a full recount to ensure all the 11th district’s ballots were properly counted.”

Elections officials said last week that a “human error” caused a temporary inflation of about 590 votes interspersed throughout city government races. The discrepancy surfaced after a standard verification audit of one of the steps involved during counting, when unofficial results are compared against log reports from each polling center. By late Friday, a statement from the board said they were confident the votes canvassed up to this point were done so accurately.

City Election Director Armstead Jones said Thursday a memory stick was found earlier that day that may have impacted the results, but that no candidates “should have lost anything.”

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This article may be updated.

Baltimore Banner reporter Adam Willis contributed to this article.