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“It’s an issue that deserves a lot of discussion,” he said.

Mr. Gray said he has been able to congratulate most of Tuesday’s winners, after four incumbent council members won their Democratic primaries and incumbent Vincent B. Orange, at-large Democrat, held a slim margin of about 1 percent, or 543 votes, over challenger Sekou Biddle. The final outcome of that race is pending a count by April 13 of absentee ballots — 1,554 returned so far out of 3,348 that were sent to Democrats — and 3,867provisional ballots or “curbside” votes from disabled residents.

It may not be clear how many of those provisional ballots — from voters who used same-day registration, changed their address or hand-delivered absentee ballots — were from Democrats until Tuesday, the deadline for officials to process the paper ballots.

“We expected to have a final score by now, but it’s clear we’ve gone into overtime,” Mr. Biddle said in an email to supporters. “While I have been saying for weeks now that this will be a close race, I admit I had no idea that it would be this close.”

Democrats Marion Barry in Ward 8, Yvette M. Alexander in Ward 7 and Jack Evans in Ward 2 won their party’s nominations. Ms. Alexander will face Ron Moten — a “civil rights Republican” who defeated Don Folden Sr. by a margin of 61 votes to 26 votes in the ward’s Republican primary — in November’s general election.