Root, who was out of town the week of Nov. 20, formally announced Sunday, Nov. 25, that he would ask for a discovery recount in the results of the election.
Under the state's election code, candidates who come within 5 percent of one another can 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, which is Nov. 27.
Under a discovery recount, a petitioner shall ask that ballot applications, voter affidavits, ballots, voting machines, or ballot cards be examined from up to 25 percent of all precincts. The cost of the discovery recount is $10 per precinct, to be paid for by the candidate requesting the recount.
Whatever occurs during the discovery recount is nonbinding, meaning it could not change the final results of the election. Instead, the process is used to gather evidence to petition for a full recount. That petition, which must be filed within 30 days of Nov. 27, must be filed in civil court.
The discovery recount occurred on Friday, Nov. 30 in the Macon County Clerk’s office, as election officials, under the watchful eye of local party members and a number of attorneys, went through the information from the precincts requested by Root.
Some have asked on social media why the discovery recount did not occur soon, but Macon County Republican Party Chairman Bruce Pillsbury said he had no issue with the process. Along with then-County Clerk Steve Bean having to set up the voting equipment and ballots for inspection and notify election officials that they would be needed for the event, Pillsbury said he had to notify legal representation and party officials to coordinate who would be available to observe the discovery recount.
“From the time we requested it, I didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary,” Pillsbury said. “We had to line up our own people… so I didn’t think it was out-of-line at all.”