A candidate in one of three close St. Charles city council races said Wednesday he is waiting a few days before deciding to ask for a recount.
"It's too early to get excited about it," said Art Lemke, who lost by six votes to Rita Payleitner for a 2nd Ward seat. He plans to wait until he is sure all absentee and provisional ballots that apply to his race have been accounted for. He said he distributed sample ballots door-to-door to encourage people to vote. "It's unfortunate we did not have better turnout," Lemke said. Unofficial totals show Payleitner with 282 votes and Lemke with 276.
"I'm comfortable either way," Lemke said about winning or still losing.
In the 5th Ward, Kim Malay lost by two votes to incumbent Maureen Lewis for the two-year seat.
"I am looking into the options," said Malay, who had 290 votes. "I've been strongly encouraged to do so by several people."
Lewis, with 292 votes Tuesday, was appointed to the board in December to replace David Richards, who resigned.
The third person in the race, Jotham Stein, received 246 votes.
In St. Charles' 4th Ward, Steven Gaugel lost by 11 votes to Alderman Jim Martin, 267 to 256.
A candidate can't file a petition for a discovery recount until after the election results have been canvassed. That canvass is due five days after the county clerk has validated and counted provisional ballots and counted any absentee ballots, which are due April 19.
A discovery recount, where a few precincts are recounted, does not change election results; it just gives the candidate information as to whether to ask a judge for a full recount. A losing candidate must be within 5 percent of the winner to get a discovery recount.
Discovery recounts are free; candidates must pay for full recounts.
Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said Wednesday afternoon there are no outstanding absentee or provisional ballots in Ward 5, five outstanding absentee ballots in Ward 4 and two in Ward 2. (Part of Ward 2 goes in to DuPage County also.)
Gaugel could not be reached for comment.
Illinois State Board of Election officials will be at the clerk's office Thursday to count ballots in nine precincts as part of a routine postelection check. One of those precincts is St. Charles Township 14, in which the 5th Ward lies.