Incumbent Todd Stephens holds 14 vote lead over Melissa Cerrato for 151st state house seat

The election to represent the 151st Legislative District, which includes portions of Lower Gwynedd and Upper Dublin townships, between incumbent Todd Stephens (R) and Melissa Cerrato (D) is still too close to call. On November 10th, the unofficial results showed Stephens leading Cerrato 16,611 to 16,585 (just 26 votes). The updated, but still unofficial results, this morning (November 11) shows Stephens still maintaining a lead, but it is down to just 14 votes (16,635 to 16,621).

According to Montgomery County’s website, all of the in-person ballots have been counted. If Cerrato hopes to overtake Stephens, any additional votes will need to come from 2,606 ballots marked as “Absentee & Mail-in Ballots Pending Evaluation” and 329 currently received ballots from members of the United States military and American citizens living abroad who have until November 15th to return their ballot.

There are also 79 other ballots in question. From an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer,

Montgomery County spokesperson Kelly Cofrancisco said the county’s election board will meet next week to consider provisional ballots, and will accept military and overseas ballots through Tuesday.

County elections officials said the outstanding ballots include 49 in which the ID couldn’t be verified and 30 that were either undated or wrongly dated. Undated mail ballots have been the subject of back-and-forth litigation for two years. The state Supreme Court ordered last week that both undated and wrongly dated ballots should be rejected.

In a Facebook post, Cerrato wrote the following:

As of this evening, we are trailing my opponent by only 14 VOTES – with a significant number of ballots (cured mail ballots, provisional ballots, & overseas ballots) that remain to be counted. We are feeling very optimistic that, once these votes are tallied, we will have a victory to celebrate. However, we must all continue to remain patient during this process and allow the County to follow all proper procedures.

We have not seen any comment from Stephens on the current status of the election.

Please note that none of the remaining ballots in question may impact the 151st district. They represent ballots from across the entire county.

It is likely heading to a recount and a legal fight over the ballots that need to be evaluated. The same article in The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (via AP) that control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will be determined by the outcome in this 151st district and another very close race in Bucks County.

You can follow the unofficial results here.

Photos: Candidates’ campaigns