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Francine Busby just arrived at the D Street Bar and Grill and told her supporters that she won’t consider declaring victory or conceding the race until at least Thursday, when the Registrar of Voters expects to have all paper ballots counted.
Currently trailing Rep. Brian Bilbray by 17.6 percent with 23.5 percent of votes counted, Busby told the audience that a snafu earlier today at the polls caused her paper vote to be counted as a provisional ballot. Busby’s vote won’t be added to the official total until the Registrar of Voters can verify her status as an eligible voter.
Busby said her campaign also received several reports of broken voting machines and polling stations that ran out of paper ballots.
“We’re waiting for all of the votes to be counted,” Busby said.
Asked if she would concede the race or declare victory when more votes come in, Busby said, “Absolutely not tonight.”
While Busby may be behind at the moment she said she was thrilled with the outcome of the elections across the nation, where Democrats had regained control of the House and the fate of the Senate remained up in the air.
“We have changed the direction of this county tonight,” she said. “We have changed the leadership of this Congress tonight.”
Looking at the current numbers, Busby’s campaign staff is still holding out hope.
Ray Drew, Busby’s campaign manager, said he believes that the current absentee returns don’t reflect the total number of absentee votes cast.
“Either this is the lowest turnout historically or absentee voters held onto their votes and delivered them by hand,” Drew said.
The number of complex propositions on the ballot may have caused many absentee voters to wait until the last minute, Drew said, and their votes could take days to be counted.