With five votes unofficially separating Susan Dellinger and incumbent G.H. "Bud" Romberg and 39 provisional ballots left to verify, the race for the District I City Council seat continues.
After all eight municipal precincts and early and absentee ballots were counted Tuesday night, Dellinger had a slim lead over Romberg, 1,249 to 1,244.
According to Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland, 39 provisional ballots are left to be counted or thrown out. The provisional ballot verification is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday but could happen as early as Thursday.
Provisional ballots include ballots submitted by voters who did not provide an accepted form of identification or whose names didn't show up in the poll books.
Weinland said she must check state records to verify those people are registered voters.
At this point, Weinland said, she'd just be guessing on how many -- if any -- of those 39 provisional ballots would be counted or thrown out.
Romberg and Dellinger said they would be waiting to hear the final result, as they stood in the hallway outside the counting offices in the Routt County Courthouse on Tuesday night.
"I was expecting a close race," Dellinger said. "He's an incumbent and a 37-year resident of Steamboat. I don't have that longevity and that draw."
But Dellinger said the focus of her campaign wasn't on introducing herself to city voters. Instead, she allowed voters to introduce themselves -- and their concerns -- to her.
Dellinger worked as the city's Geographic Information System developer for a decade before starting her own computer mapping business last year.
Romberg, on the other hand, has lived in Steamboat for nearly 40 years and is a retired schoolteacher who has been active in community politics for years. He served on the Steamboat Springs Planning Commission and the Steamboat Springs School Board before joining the City Council four years ago.