OGDEN -- With 471 votes still unaccounted for in Ogden city, Turner Bitton continues to hold out a slim hope that the fate he was dealt on election night might somehow change.
The city still has to count 200 absentee ballots, 62 provisional ballots and 209 vote-center provisional ballots (ballots accepted from outside a voter's designated voting location), before they can announce a winner in Turner's city council race against incumbent Doug Stephens.
Bitton trails Stephens by 116 votes. The challenger says his campaign focused heavily on mail-in ballots and with nearly 500 total votes still in question, a high number of those could be for him.
With incumbent councilmen Bart Blair and Neil Garner each winning in uncontested races and Marcia White ahead of Stephen Thompson by nearly 1,000 votes, all of the other Ogden races have already been decided.
"First of all, we really put a lot of focus on mail-in ballots," Bitton said. "And my logic is that there were two races where candidates were disqualified, so you'd think a lot of these votes (not counted) would be for the most competitive race. I'm confident a number of these ballots are for my race."
Other close races in Weber County include the North Ogden council race and the Pleasant View and Riverdale mayoral and council races. North Ogden and Pleasant View each have 791 votes that still need to be counted while Riverdale has 495.
In North Ogden Brian Russell leads James Urry by only 11 votes, according to the total from Tuesday's count.
Weber County Elections director Jennifer Morrell said the county is required by state law to hold the vote-center ballots as provisional ballots until they can determine that an individual voter did not vote more than once.
She said the county has reviewed those ballots and discovered no duplicates, and will add them to the final results, but they still must review the traditional provisional ballots and absentee ballots to determine if they will count.
Morrell said official results will be provided to individual city recorders at least one day before the date the city council has determined they will canvass the election.
Ogden's canvass is scheduled for Nov. 19.
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.