Recount in Campton Township precinct race

Discovery recount set Friday in Campton 11 Precinct Committeeperson race

Signs for candidates in the March 19 Primary Election at the Kane County Government Center.

GENEVA – Who says your vote doesn’t count?

In the hotly contested March 19 primary election for committeeperson in Campton Township Precinct 11, it counts for a lot: Richard Johansen lost to Kenneth Zitko by two votes, 66-64.

Johansen filed a petition for discovery recount with the Kane County Clerk’s Office for 9 a.m. Friday.

Neither man responded to requests for comment, but Kane County GOP Chairman Andro Lerario said in a text message that Johansen’s request was based on a reporting error in vote counts.

The dispute arose from Johansen being behind by one vote, but an additional mail-in ballot came in and he was behind by two votes, according to Lerario’s text.

“When Mr Johansen went to the clerks office to question the vote tally, after some heated discussions ... he was finally shown the count on the computer per the record of the election department and they were still showing a 1 vote deficit,” according to Lerario’s text.

“Mr Johansen questioned this inaccuracy and demanded a vote recount,” according to Lerario’s text. “This decision was based on his lack of confidence in the election department and not so much if he would be the winner or not. Although Campton benefits from either individual as an elected PC, (precinct committeeperson) I agree with Mr Johansen’s right to question the integrity of the process.”

County Clerk Jack Cunningham said the mail-in ballot had not yet been logged in when the discussion with Johansen had occurred. Fourteen days later, all the votes were certified, including all the mail-in ballots.

Johansen’s petition asks that “the ballots, voting machines or ballot cards be tested and that ballots, recorded votes, any automatic tabulating equipment shall be counted.”

The petition also asks that the clerk “examine the ballots, voting machines, ballot cards, voter affidavits and applications for ballot, test the automatic tabulating equipment and count the ballots, recorded votes on ballot cards.”

The petition also asks “make available for examination the ballot applications and voter affidavits for such precinct.”

Cunningham said the whole process should take about 20 minutes.

“His is only one precinct,” Cunningham said.

Johansen was elected Committeeperson in Campton Precinct 3 in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2018 and 2020, according to results on file at the Clerk’s Office.

In 2022, Johansen defeated Zitko for Campton Precinct 11 with 132 votes to Zitko’s 51, records show.

In Kane County, a precinct committeeperson, formerly known as a committeeman, promotes their party in the precinct where they vote.

The Kane County GOP website states a committeeperson is responsible for organizing Republicans to vote.

According to the Kane County Democratic Party website, a precinct committeeperson should register new voters, update precinct lists, assist vote-by-mail voters, ensure voter registration transfers are completed, assist local candidates in door-to-door activities, supply information to voters and help with fundraising, among other duties.

The committeeperson should also “develop relationships with voters in the precinct and learn what will persuade them to vote for Democratic candidates on Election Day.”

Precinct committeepersons also vote on who will lead the party.

Kane County GOP Chairman Andro Lerario was elected in 2022 at the party’s convention.

The next Kane GOP convention is April 17 at the Royal Fox Country Club in St. Charles, according to Lerario.