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LL’s column this week is about how tight the Ward 8 race is, and now it’s even tighter. A preliminary vote count from the D.C. Board of Elections today puts Muriel Bowser favorite LaRuby May just 80 votes ahead of rival Trayon White.

On election night, May led White by 152 votes—1,711 ballots to 1,559. But White was the recipient of more newly counted provisional and absentee ballots, receiving 316 new votes compared to May’s 244 new votes. That puts their current votes at 1,955 votes for May and 1,875 votes for White, giving May a diminished lead of 80 votes.

The numbers could change again tomorrow, which is the deadline for voters to prove that they could cast a vote in the race and thus legitimize their provisional ballots. The elections board plans to certify the results next week.

At this point, the race is so close that DCBOE plans to do a recount even if the margin between White and May is slightly above the 1 percent threshold that triggers a recount.

“We will probably go ahead and do a recount,” says DCBOE spokeswoman Denise Tolliver.

Update, 5/8: On second thought, Tolliver tells LL in a later call, DCBOE won’t automatically do a recount if the percentage difference between the candidates is more than one percent.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery