The apparent victory of H.R. Crawford in Tuesda's closely fought Democratic D.C. City Council primary in Ward 7 can not be final until next week after the city's Board of Elections and Ethics counts 344 special ballots and an estimated 20 absentee ballots.
Crawford apparently won the race in the ward east of the Anacostia River by 143 votes -- 3,362 to 3,219 -- over congressional aide Johnny Barnes after regular returns had been counted from the 21 precincts Tuesday evening.
But 344 special ballots and the 20 or more absentee ballots remain to be counted. They could change the results, but in the past, such ballots have reflected the regular results on election day.
None of the other primary races on Tuesday were close enough that special or absentee ballots could change the results.
Special ballots are cast by voters when election officials at their precincts on the voting day cannot confirm registrations, or when information on election records varies from that claimed by the voters. Examples are somebody listing a different pary affilliation or a different address from that shown or official records.
Ballots in such categories are placed in sealed envelopes until their validity is determined. Under the rules, if the ballots are approved for acceptance they will be mingled with other ballots in a way that maintains their secrecy.
Under a rotation arrangement between the city's two daily newspapers, the names of those whose ballots on Tuesday are being challenged will be published in a city-placed legal advertisement Monday in the Washington Star.
Those listed in the advertisement as having cast challenged ballots who want to contest the cancellation of their votes may call the Board of Elections to make an appointment to argue their cases.