Despite recount, results of 2020 DuPage auditor race the same, clerk's report says

DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek insists in a new report that disqualifying ballots wouldn't change the outcome of last year's county auditor race that incumbent Bob Grogan narrowly lost to Democratic challenger William "Bill" White.

A recount of the November 2020 election - which Grogan lost by just 75 votes to White - was completed in October.

DuPage Judge Craig Belford ordered the recount after a partial examination of ballots in December 2020 found that election judges at a Downers Grove polling place did not initial 436 ballots on Election Day. In his ruling, Belford said state law requires paper ballots to be initialed in ink.

Kaczmarek and her attorney have prepared an official report about the recount's findings.

The report, submitted to the court last week, acknowledges that some election judges failed to initial hundreds of ballots. In addition, officials failed to count 69 vote-by-mail ballots.

However, the report concludes that Grogan, a Downers Grove Republican, still lost by 58 votes to White, a Downers Grove Democrat. As a result, Kaczmarek is asking Belford to confirm the official results.

"The full and exhaustive recount conducted by the Election Division revealed a precision rate with nothing more than a scintilla of garden-variety election irregularities from bipartisan human oversight," the report states.

As part of the October recount, ballot checkers reviewed 117,886 ballots cast in person on Election Day. They found that 832 of those ballots did not have initials from election judges.

Of those 832 ballots, 411 contained votes for White, and 394 had votes for Grogan. Officials have agreed that none of the votes should be counted.

Eleven in-precinct ballots are disputed. On 10 of them, an election judge marked the initial space with an 'X.'

The report confirmed that 69 vote-by-mail ballots were found in envelopes during the recount. Thirty-six of them contained votes for White and 26 contained votes for Grogan.

The recount also found 39 vote-by-mail envelopes postmarked after Election Day that were processed. They were received by other election jurisdictions before Election Day and stamped by those jurisdictions. Those authorities then forwarded them to DuPage. Because no ballots were in the envelopes, there is no way of knowing who the voters selected.

Ultimately, the report concluded that White received 232,710 votes, and Grogan received 232,652 votes.

On Monday, Grogan's lawyer told Belford that he had not had a chance to read the report and several hundred pages of exhibits. Attorneys for Grogan, White and Kaczmarek are due back in court on Dec. 20.

A message has been left seeking comment from Grogan.

"This goes to show the 2020 election was extremely well-run," White said. "There was no evidence of improper ballots being cast. It was a clerical mistake."

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William White
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