4:40 p.m.: The staff of the Davidson County Election Commission left the office at 4:30 p.m. without divulging the status of the two provisional ballots in the race between incumbent state Sen. Douglas Henry and political newcomer Jeff Yarbro.
Both are vying for the Democratic nomination in November’s general election.
Election officials said they were waiting for the Tennessee Secretary of State, the government body that will determine the legitimacy of the two ballots.
Earlier in the day, some had speculated that one ballot had been confirmed but not the second.
According to Election Commission Chair Lynn Greer, the legitimacy of the ballots won’t be verified until Monday at the earliest.
1:20 p.m.: In an interview with The City Paper at Sylvan Park Restaurant this afternoon, Jeff Yarbro indicated he might ask for a recount in his primary election battle with incumbent state Sen. Douglas Henry. The two are currently separated by two votes, with a mere two provisional ballots left to be counted this afternoon.
"I'm not ruling anything in or out," Yarbro said when asked whether he would request a recount or challenge the results of the election.
12:50 p.m.: Jeff Yarbro's attorney released a statement this morning suggesting the campaign is aware of irregularities in the counting of absentee ballots in the state Senate District 21 primary.
From Yarbro attorney Wally Dietz:
"In an election this close, where the margin is approximately one-hundredth of 1 percent, it will take some time to determine who won the most votes. The candidates, the Election Commission, and the voters deserve to have confidence in the final tally.
"There are several outstanding questions that will need to be addressed in the coming days. First, there are a couple of provisional ballots that were cast in this race that still need to be processed. Second, there are a few issues surrounding the count of absentee ballots. Due to an apparent power failure, the absentee ballots were not counted by machine as is the standard practice but were hand counted. The original count of the absentee ballots that was provided to the campaign was 128 votes for Sen. Henry and 82 votes for Yarbro, which would have resulted in an 18-vote margin in Yarbro's favor in the unofficial count. Subsequently, the count of absentee ballots that was delivered to the Election Commission was 148 votes for Sen. Henry and 82 votes for Yarbro, which resulted in a 2-vote margin in Sen. Henry's favor in the unofficial count.
"At this point, we have a question of math, not politics. We look forward to the canvass of the returns that begins on Monday and to working with the Election Commission and the Henry Campaign to ensure that Nashville citizens have the most accurate count of the ballots possible.
10:45 a.m.: Only two provisional ballots were cast in the tight state Senate District 21 Democratic primary between incumbent Sen. Douglas Henry and 33-year-old attorney Jeff Yarbro, meaning the final tally could produce an exact tie or as much as a four-vote victory for Henry.
On Friday morning, Davidson County Election Commission officials sifted through provisional ballots cast in all 172 county precincts. According to chairman Lynn Greer, the two ballots are being taken to the downtown offices of the commission this afternoon to be verified.
In one of the closest races in recent memory, Henry ended Thursday night ahead by a mere two votes, with only the remaining provisional ballots to be counted.
It was not clear whether the ballots were cast in the Democratic or Republican primary. One is from Metro Council District 18's Belmont neighborhood, and the other is from Forest Hills, which is in council district 34.
Both ballots would have to be verified and favor Yarbro for the upstart to tie long-time incumbent Henry.
It remains unclear whether Yarbro will request a recount. Such a request would go before the election commission.
Yarbro could also challenge the result — essentially suggesting something went awry in the voting. A challenge would go before the state Democratic Party's executive committee.