By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The results of the Democratic primary race for Baltimore County executive is still up in the air with a recount starting Thursday.

Former state delegate Johnny Olszewski has a nine-vote lead over state Sen. Jim Brochin. A race this close has candidates agreeing that a recount is the only way to be sure.

Baltimore County election workers have been tallying votes since election night. Regular ballots, absentee ballots and provisional ballots all narrowed the lead to just nine votes for Olszewski — compelling Brochin to request a recount by paper ballots by hand.

“10 years ago as a member of the Senate, we passed legislation for a verified paper trail and this is putting a test to it,” Brochin told WJZ. “Everybody put the name of the candidate they chose in a circle, put it through a machine and we saved the paper so now we’re going to compare the paper count with the machine count.”

Olszewski, too, is committed to getting it right.

“Throughout this campaign, we’ve consistently said that we want every vote counted and every voice heard so nothing has changed from our perspective,” he said.

Meanwhile, Republican primary winner Al Redmer waits to see who he’ll be running against in the general election.

“It’s amazing,” Redmer said. “We had over 80,000 votes cast and there’s a nine-vote difference, and it is a reminder for all of us as our civic duty that every vote does in fact count.”

The recount could take five days.

“At the end of the day, in a nine-vote race with so much at stake, I think certainty is the most important component,” Brochin said.

Election workers from Baltimore City and Howard County will help in the recount.

There are 85,000 votes to count.

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