Macon County sheriff's Lt. Tony Brown on Wednesday said he's moving forward with asking for a recount of Tuesday's election. Brown, a Democrat, finished 99 votes behind sheriff's Lt. Jim Root, the GOP candidate.
Brown said he hopes that a recount, along with provisional and outstanding absentee ballots the county clerk's office is still tallying, ultimately leads to him being declared the winner of the election.
"We decided we were going to do this right away," Brown said. "I'm still optimistic."
Final but unofficial results from the county clerk's office on Tuesday showed that Brown had 19,464 votes to Root's 19,563.
Root on Wednesday said that he was not aware of Brown's intention to call for a recount, but doesn't take any issue with him doing so, as it is his right. He said he's eager to move forward so that the transition of leadership once Sheriff Howard Buffett leaves his post in December is as smooth as possible.
"I've got to continue moving past this as according to the (voting) totals," Root said. "I've won the election, and I've got to continue moving forward until that changes."
County Clerk Steve Bean said that in Illinois, candidates who come within 5 percent of another may request a discovery recount within five days after the last day for the Illinois State Board of Elections to canvass the results of an election. That falls on Nov. 27 this year, according to the board of elections.
A discovery recount does not change the results of an election, but entitles a candidate who loses narrowly to review ballots and other documentation from a quarter of the precincts in the jurisdiction. The candidate may use the information in a legal challenge to the election results.
"If the discovery recount doesn't have any effect, the winner will take officer on Dec. 1," Bean said.
Bean said that his office received about 131 provisional ballots Tuesday, which don't count until questions about the voter's eligibility are resolved. He said the office has until Nov. 20 to both validate and count provisional and absentee ballots and turn the information in to the board of elections.
"Those will be added to the totals," Bean said. "That might shrink the margin or it might increase it. We don't know how it's going to affect (the results)."
Herald & Review reporter Tom Lisi contributed to this story.