Oberweis camp expects action soon on petition to undo Underwood's reelection

  • Republican Jim Oberweis and Democrat Lauren Underwood

    Republican Jim Oberweis and Democrat Lauren Underwood

 
 
Updated 2/3/2021 5:41 PM

Action on Jim Oberweis' petition to overturn his Nov. 3 election loss to incumbent 14th District Rep. Lauren Underwood likely will be taken by the end of the week, his campaign spokesman, Travis Akin, said.

The Sugar Grove Republican filed his petition Jan. 4, seeking a new election, the day after Underwood, a Democrat from Naperville, was sworn in and seated in the House.

 

The certified election results showed Underwood with 203,209 votes to Oberweis' 197,835, a difference of 5,374 votes.

In a news release when he filed his petition, Oberweis alleged that there were enough illegal votes to give him the victory by 9,374 votes in the 14th District. His assertions were based on results of discovery recounts and other sources.

"The documentation we provided Congress today shows numerous irregularities. And when the proportional reductions in each of our vote totals are applied, there is no question I won the race for Congress," Oberweis said in the release.

Underwood spokeswoman Andra Belknap said Underwood has filed a motion to dismiss Oberweis' notice of contest.

"Mr. Oberweis' notice of contest is replete with baseless allegations, suffers from a basic failure of arithmetic, fundamentally misunderstands Illinois Elections Law, and demonstrates a dangerous disregard for the will of the voters," Belknap said in a written statement.

"Frankly, we regret that Congresswoman Underwood had to spend any time reviewing and responding to Mr. Oberweis' baseless claims during this critical time for our community," she said.

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The 14th Congressional District includes portions of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties.

Akin said the House Administrative Committee has 30 days to respond to Oberweis' petition for an election do-over.

"They still have a few days," Akin said. "We expect to see some definitive action later this week."

There are three possible options, the most likely being that it would be dismissed, as Democrats are the majority on that committee, Akin said.

Another scenario would be for the committee to open an investigation in which it would act like a court, hear both sides and make a recommendation to the House floor, Akin said.

Because Democrats are the majority in the House, it's unlikely, if it got that far, that they would decide a new election is in order, he said.

"It's an uphill challenge," Akin said.

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