Still no winner in Cook County state’s attorney primary

The vote count continues in the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney, which as of Thursday afternoon remained too close to call.

Suburban election officials say 7,000 mail-in ballots — which have been received but not tallied — will be counted Thursday evening. Mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted if received within two weeks of the primary.

“By next week we’ll have a much clearer picture,” Edmund Michalowski, Cook County deputy clerk for elections, said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

According to Michalowski, officials expect “a couple thousand” more ballots from suburban Cook County voters. Officials with the Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners on Wednesday said more than 100,000 mail-in ballots from Chicago voters are to be counted, according to published reports.

Unofficial results show former appellate court Judge Eileen O’Neill Burke with a slim lead over Clayton Harris III, a former prosecutor who was endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party. The Democratic nominee will face Republican Bob Fioretti and Libertarian candidate Andrew Charles Kopinski in the Nov. 5 general election, to replace Kim Foxx, who announced last year she would not seek a third term as the county’s top prosecutor.

With 86% of votes counted late Thursday afternoon, The Associated Press reported Burke has 246,470 votes, about 50.8% of the total, to Harris’ 238,318.

Of the 150,000 suburban voters on the permanent vote-by-mail list, 96,000 ballots were requested and 50,000 were returned and tallied on election night, Michalowski said.

“The clerk’s office has established a process with a series of checks and balances and we use that process for election day, early voting and mail in ballots,” he said, adding that 150 bipartisan election judges continue to count ballots daily.

“Nothing is as important as ensuring that voters have confidence in the system,” he said.

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