Tight Mundelein mayor's race could be decided Tuesday

Updated 4/17/2017 6:22 PM
  • Holly Kim, left, and Steve Lentz, right, could learn Tuesday who has won their tightly contested race for Mundelein mayor

    Holly Kim, left, and Steve Lentz, right, could learn Tuesday who has won their tightly contested race for Mundelein mayor

Today could be the day Holly Kim and Steve Lentz learn which of them won Mundelein's tightly contested mayoral race in the April 4 election.

Starting at noon, employees in the Lake County clerk's office in Waukegan will prepare and then count ballots that were put in the mail by Election Day but arrived at the office afterward. They'll also count any valid provisional ballots given to voters on Election Day because of questions about eligibility.

The results will affect final vote tallies in more races than just the Kim-Lentz showdown in Mundelein.

Unofficial Lake County results show 28 races in which one candidate's vote count is within 95 percent of a leading opponent's total.

They include races for seats on village boards in Antioch, Barrington Hills, Vernon Hills and Mundelein; the Lake Zurich Unit School District 95 board; the Wauconda Unit School District 118 board; and the Libertyville School District 70 board.

None are as high-profile as the Mundelein mayor's race, in which first-term incumbent Lentz was challenged by Kim, a first-term trustee.

As of Election Day, unofficial results showed Lentz leading Kim by 13 votes. A third candidate, Ray Ladewig, is far behind.

Depending on the results, the trailing candidate could request a discovery recount after today. The discovery recount would not change the election results but could give the candidate evidence to show a judge, who then could order a full recount or a new election, or reverse the results.

The clerk's office received more than 1,000 valid ballots through the mail after Election Day, from voters throughout the county, Clerk Carla Wyckoff said. The office also has about 80 valid provisional ballots from Lake County voters.

Here's what will happen today, according to Wyckoff:

• Once the day's mail arrives with any final late-arriving ballots, election judges will gather in the clerk's office. This will be about noon.

• All the late-arriving ballots and provisional ballots will be opened, flattened, initialed and inspected for write-in votes. Those votes will be tallied.

• Once that's complete, the ballots will be secured.

• At 5 p.m., the ballots will be electronically counted and the results will be uploaded to the county's voting database. Any write-in votes will be totaled and added to the database.

• The totals on the Lake County clerk's website, lakecountyil.gov/317/Election-Results, will be updated accordingly.

"We plan to upload the results as soon as the tabulation is complete," Wyckoff said.

The vote counts will be finalized Wednesday when the results are canvassed by the county.

If any of the races result in a tie, Illinois law says a random generator -- coin flips, cutting cards or choosing straws, for example -- can determine the victor.

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