DeKALB – Mail-in ballots added to Tuesday’s election total Wednesday morning narrowed the gap between DeKalb County clerk and recorder’s race candidates, though not enough to bump Republican Tasha Sims from her win over Democratic opponent Linh Nguyen, if unofficial results hold.
Longtime Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson, a Republican, elected not to run again. A 10:30 a.m. Wednesday news release from the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s Office announced that mail-in ballot tallies had not been added to Tuesday night’s results totals.
The clerk’s role includes administering countywide elections and keeping county records, among other responsibilities, during a four-year term.
Polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and results were expected to trickle in Tuesday night. However, final results will not be certified until two weeks after the election.
As of 11:15 a.m. Wednedsay, with 65 precincts reporting, Sims had 19,149 votes, or 49%, followed by Nguyen’s 18,369 votes, or 47%, a margin of 780 votes.
“I’ve heard all day that there were lines at polling places,” Sims said during a Republican watch party Tuesday night at El Jimador Mexican restaurant in DeKalb. “Polling places that generally see a lower turnout have seen possibly ... record turnouts. [There’s] a lot of rural voting, which is great to hear. So, I’m excited to hear the final turnout because I think they’re very good.”
Sims said early votes and mail-in ballots were added to Tuesday night’s total first, followed by results counted from the day’s polling places.
A graduate of Sycamore High School and Kishwaukee Community College from Kingston, Sims has said she would bring both experience and knowledge to the job. She first started working in the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s Office a little more than 14 years ago.
It was there that Sims was crosstrained in all aspects of the office, from recording and keeping vital records to handling tax extensions and elections.
Sims said she’s no stranger to DeKalb County government. Over the past eight years, she has assumed a variety of roles related to public service. In addition to being deputy county clerk, Sims has served as an executive assistant to the county administrator, secretary to the County Board, and as a member of the Forest Preserve District and Public Building Commission.
Nguyen, a chemistry instructor at Northern Illinois University and an American Youth Soccer Organization coach, is known by many as a local activist in the community. As an immigrant from Vietnam who holds a Ph.D. in computational chemistry, she has campaigned on her ability to advocate for fair and free elections.
During a Democrat watch party Tuesday night at River Heights Golf Course in DeKalb, Nguyen said the turnout was a little bit lower than she was hoping for, but she noticed improvements.
“When I was campaigning, I think the precinct turnout was better,” she said. “The precinct that we had had a better turnout. Overall, turnout was better. With better communication and education from the county clerk, we will improve the turnout.”
A computational scientist and past president of the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County, Nguyen said she would use that knowledge to modernize the office of the county clerk and recorder for safety and efficiency, bringing technology into the office and stumping for improved access for voter registration.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available. An additional update occurred at 11:20 a.m. Nov. 9, 2022, following mail-in ballot results released by the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder’s Office added to the election totals.