Bob Getz, Elgin Community College board's self-described "curmudgeon who watches the budget," is now shaping up to be the curmudgeon who watches the election results.
Getz, a 69-year-old Democrat, ran for an open seat on the Kane County Board in hopes of representing the 22nd District, but came up 19 votes short of beating Elgin attorney Douglas Scheflow, a Republican.
Contact information ( * required )
According to unofficial tallies, Scheflow, 55, had 3,528 votes, while Getz earned 3,510. Even so, Getz isn't ready to give up just yet and may consider a recount.
Both men were running for the seat now occupied Jackie Tredup, who was not seeking re-election. The 22nd District includes parts of western Elgin and Elgin Township and the winner takes office in December.
Once the county certifies the election results and makes them official, Getz can request a discovery recount, according to Ken Menzel, deputy general counsel for the state board of elections.
Getz is allowed to ask for a recount of 25 percent of the district's 10 precincts. The goal of a recount is to find evidence that could lead to a formal election challenge, which ultimately would involve a judge's ruling, Menzel said.
The recount, which would be done by the county, costs the losing candidate $10 for every precinct counted. The process is not automatic and must be initiated by a candidate. And it can't begin until the results are official.
The county is still waiting to count provisional and absentee ballots and expects to certify the results on Nov. 20, said Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham.
To prevail in a recount, Getz would need to know whether there was some sort of problem with the ballots that hurt his chances of election -- and Menzel is not aware of any issues in Kane County.
"One of the things to keep in mind: an election, even when it's fairly close, usually doesn't change just because you count everything again -- the equipment's pretty good," Menzel said. "If you count them more than once, you generally come up with the same answer."
But the fact that it took almost two hours for the county to post the remaining five precincts on its website makes Getz wonder if there is something there.
Meanwhile, Scheflow is surprised the race was that close, but isn't that concerned about a potential recount.
"I think with the computer balloting, there isn't too much to recount -- I think they're pretty accurate," Scheflow said. "We don't have the hanging chads here, that kind of thing, so we'll wait and see."
For now, Getz will see whether the official results give him an edge over Scheflow. If they don't, he'll consider a recount.
"I was in the Army," he said. "You don't give up until you know the mission is accomplished or not. If there's still a chance this thing can go in my favor, I'm not going to give up."