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updated: 11/8/2010 5:24 PM

Vote count holds tight 8th District race

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Cook County election officials made no further counts of newly received absentee ballots in the Northwest suburbs' 8th Congressional District Monday, leaving Republican Joe Walsh with his narrow 350-vote lead over Democratic incumbent Melissa Bean.

Instead, officials spent the day getting to some of the county's other precincts outside the 8th District.

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While Walsh already has claimed victory, Bean has said she will not concede before the "will of the voters" has been fully determined.

Counting of valid absentee ballots from the Cook County part of the district could resume as early as Tuesday, Cook County Clerk's Office spokeswoman Courtney Greve said. But valid provisional ballots won't be counted until Nov. 15 or 16, she said.

Lake and McHenry counties won't add any absentee or provisional ballot totals to their totals until Nov. 16. Walsh led Bean by strong margins in Lake and McHenry, while Bean received more votes in Cook County.

The count for all three counties currently stands with Walsh at 97,576 votes, Bean at 97,226 and Green Party candidate Bill Scheurer with 6,459.

While McHenry County hasn't yet broken down its remaining absentee votes by precinct, county Clerk Katherine Schultz said she's received only 54 ballots countywide, 18 of them without postmarks. Absentee ballots without postmarks can still be ruled valid if they have a proper certification date stamped on them, Schultz said.

As of Monday, Lake County had received 582 possibly valid absentee ballots and 472 possibly valid provisional ballots in the 8th District, county Clerk Willard Helander said.

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