Day-of voting returns good for Republicans in most Lake County races - but no early votes reporting

With only day-of election results counted in Lake County, and some precincts outstanding, Republicans led in countywide and most county board races at press time Tuesday night.

However, those unofficial numbers - reflecting 70,236 day-of election ballots counted by the Lake County clerk's office - do not include any early or mail-in votes, meaning races could go either way. According to the clerk's website, Lake County had received 232,037 early and mail-in ballots as of Monday. Plus, up to 58,796 mail-in ballots requested by voters in Lake County could still be returned if they are postmarked by Tuesday.

Based solely on the incomplete count of day-of ballots, embattled Lake County Board incumbent Terry Wilke of Round Lake Beach led his Republican challenger. Wilke, a Democrat who was dogged by opponents for actions related to his post as Avon Township supervisor, had received 1,344 votes in District 16, while his opponent, Republican John Frazier of Round Lake, had 1,207 by 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Other Democrats running for the Lake County Board trailed in the early going of day-of counts, with the larger block of earlier votes yet to be added.

Lake County Board President Sandy Hart of District 13 had 996 votes. Her opponent, Lauren Fleming, a Gurnee Republican, had 1,521 votes. Hart, of Lake Bluff, became the first Democrat to lead the board two years ago when her party took control after a "blue wave" election.

Longtime District 7 board member Steve Carlson, a Grandwood Park Republican, held an early lead of 2,195 votes to the 1,296 votes of challenger Carissa Casbon, a Democrat from unincorporated Warren Township.

Incumbent District 20 board member Marah Altenberg, a Buffalo Grove Democrat, trailed challenger Soojae Lee, a Buffalo Grove Republican. Altenberg had 873 votes to Lee's 1,538 votes in the early going.

District 1 incumbent Linda Pedersen, an Antioch Republican, maintained a 3,831 to 1,246 vote lead over challenger Chase A. Thomas, a Lake Villa Democrat.

District 12 board member Mike Rummel, a Lake Forest Republican, had 1,873 votes, about 1,000 more than challenger Paras Parekh, a Highland Park Democrat, who had 881.

In the countywide races, the story Tuesday night was much the same with Republicans leading Democratic opponents in day-of tallies.

Lake County Coroner Howard Cooper, a Wadsworth Republican, had 40,619 votes to 26,261 votes for challenger Jennifer Banek, a Green Oaks Democrat. Cooper, a dentist, is seeking a second 4-year term. Banek is a nurse anesthesiologist and a captain in the Army Reserve.

Incumbent Lake County circuit court Clerk Erin Cartwright Weinstein, a Gurnee Democrat, is seeking a second 4-year term against challenger Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez, a Waukegan Republican. Rodriguez had the edge in day-of counts, leading 39,917 votes to Weinstein's 26,924 votes.

Incumbent Recorder of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer, a Waukegan Democrat, trailed challenger Emilia Czyszczon, a Deerfield Republican. Czyszczon had 37,036 votes and Vanderventer had 29,389.

The results of a referendum asking voters to eliminate the elected position of recorder of deeds and merge the office under the county clerk will dictate whether the winner serves a full term or just until the offices merge on Dec. 1, 2022.

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