A group seeking the recall of District 7 City Councilman Chris Anderson turned in a slew of names just before the noon deadline on Tuesday.
Election officials said there were 793 valid signatures of district residents on the first 1,526 petitions checked.
Office personnel still have to check another 200 pages of names with about seven to a page.
The number needed to force a recall vote is 1,600.
Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said the goal is to have the new names checked by May 9. He said that would be in time to get the referendum on the August ballot - if there are enough names.
Charles Wysong, a leader of the effort, said, "It looks very close. We've doing all the work we can do, and now we're simply praying."
Councilman Anderson said it was "highly unlikely - almost impossible" that the recall would succeed.
He said it was waged "by people with feelings of hate, and that drives people."
Councilman Anderson claimed the group in recent days used young children to gather names, including hiding what the petition was about.
He stated, "It has been 75 days of deceiving people."
Councilman Anderson earlier filed a lawsuit seeking to block the recall. It is being held in abeyance in Circuit Court depending on whether or not the recall is successful in securing enough names.