Oberweis asks U.S. House to overturn Underwood victory

  • Republican Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove and Democrat Lauren Underwood

    Republican Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove and Democrat Lauren Underwood

Updated 1/5/2021 10:57 AM
This story has been updated to reflect that Candidate Jim Oberweis is asking the U.S. House to order a recount or special election.

Claiming voting irregularities led to his election loss to U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, Republican challenger Jim Oberweis on Monday formally asked the U.S. House to investigate the contest and overturn the result.

Underwood, a Democrat from Naperville, was sworn in Sunday to begin her second term representing Illinois' 14th District, which encompasses portions of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.


She defeated Oberweis, a state senator from Sugar Grove, by more than 5,000 votes in the Nov. 3 election, a result unchanged by a recently certified recount.

Oberweis wants Congress to either order a recount by hand or a special election April 6.

In his filing with the U.S. House, Oberweis claims thousands of illegal votes were counted. He alleged that in one case a resident of Kenosha, Wisconsin, whom he did not identify, voted in McHenry County.

"I do not believe we found any rampant fraud, but what we found is election jurisdictions around the 14th District not following the law, which led to an inability to verify that only those who were legally entitled to vote actually voted," he said in the announcement of his challenge.

Among Oberweis' other allegations are that no election judges' initials were on 39,647 mail ballots in Kane County; 29 mail ballot application requests were granted after an Oct. 29 deadline; Kane County voters were not allowed to vote provisionally; and there 1,600 more ballots cast in DuPage County than voters.

Under the Federal Contested Elections Act, a House candidate is allowed to challenge an election's results after exhausting all possible remedies at the state level. The measure would require Oberweis to convince the Democrat-controlled House that a preponderance of the evidence showed he received more votes than Underwood and should be installed in her place.

• Daily Herald news services contributed to this report.

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