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2 Philadelphia Races Hang In Balance As Primary Election Certification Process Begins

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(2nd District city council candidate Barbara Capozzi, center of photo, observes the start of the certification process by Philadelphia's acting city commissioners.  Photo by Steve Tawa)

(2nd District city council candidate Barbara Capozzi, center of photo, observes the start of the certification process by Philadelphia’s acting city commissioners. Photo by Steve Tawa)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia City Commissioners, who certify election results, aren’t ready to do so yet in all cases because of two races that remain up in the air following Tuesday’s primary: the contest for the Republican nomination for mayor, and the Demoratic nomination for City Council’s 2nd District.

The official citywide count will begin on Friday, and continue over the weekend and through next Wednesday.

“We will start with a clean, fresh database,” said Bob Lee, registration administrator (far right in photo), today, “and re-read every (voting machine) cartridge as part of the canvass at Delaware and Spring Garden (Streets).  That will be the database that will be certified.”

At this point, the Republican party-supported mayoral candidate, Karen Brown, leads John Featherman by just 59 votes (see related story).   He was part of a group called the “Loyal Opposition,” challenging the established Republican Party.

City officials say they still need to tally 1,459 absentee and 214 “alternative” ballots citywide.

Also, in the tight race to succeed Councilwoman Anna Verna in the 2nd District, Pennsylvania state representative Kenyatta Johnson leads South Philadelphia civic leader Barbara Capozzi (center of photo) by just 72 votes (see related story).  Officials say 164 absentee and alternative ballots have yet to be checked out in the 2nd District.

In both cases, neither the candidates nor elections officials know whether the absentee ballots are from Republican or Democratic voters, so it’s not immediately clear whether those ballots could influence the outcome of a particular race.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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