Attorney: Questionable ballot in Kane County judge recount

An attorney for Kane County Associate Judge Marmarie Kostelny in a discovery recount of her seven-vote March 18 primary loss said one of some 400 ballots recounted Monday in Aurora was questionable because it didn't scan.

"The net result from my vantage point is we found a very questionable ballot for our opponent," attorney John Countryman said. "This is one ballot that the machine wouldn't count yesterday. We don't know how it was counted Election Night."

Countryman said no ballot challenges have been made yet.

Certified election results have Geneva defense attorney D.J. Tegeler winning the Republican nomination for Kane County circuit judge.

The winner of the March primary advances to the Nov. 4 election. No Democrat has filed to run for the seat.

Monday's recount of two precincts at the Aurora Election Commission is part of a "discovery recount" in which Kostelny may pick 25 percent of precincts to be tallied again as part of a "discovery recount"; Monday, two precincts were counted again at the Aurora Election Commission office.

Aurora uses "optical scan" ballots in which a voter uses a pencil to fill in a bubble next to a candidate's name.

Ken Shepro, an attorney representing Tegeler in the recount, said the ballot in question contained check marks on the bubbles instead of the voter filling them in.

"Any ballot voted with a check mark or where the

voter's intent is clearly ascertainable shall be counted. No question, but this was a valid ballot," Shepro wrote in an email. Kane County uses an electronic voting system called eSlate in which voters "punch" a box on a computer screen to vote for each candidate.

Ballots from 16 precincts will be counted in Kane County beginning May 5 and the process could take two days or more.

Kostelny has until May 19 - a month after the state certified the election results - to ask for a full recount.

"We'll just have to see. We have all kinds of different voting these days," Countryman said. "We had 12,000 votes in the election. Certainly the difference of seven votes makes this something worthwhile to do."

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