Government

Already sworn in, Underwood disregards Oberweis’ attempt to toss election results

Alleging voting irregularities, Oberweis asked U.S. House to void election results in 14th Congressional District

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville is disregarding her most recent Republican rival’s attempt to jettison the results of November’s election.

Alleging voting irregularities, Republican Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove has formally asked the U.S. House to void the election results in the 14th District race and either conduct a recount by hand or hold a special election April 6.

“We’re asking for a do-over,” Oberweis spokesman Travis Akin said.

Underwood spokeswoman Andra Belknap dismissed Oberweis’ maneuver as “legal bluster.”

“The results of this election will not change,” Belknap said. “Congresswoman Underwood was sworn into the 117th Congress on Jan. 3 and remains focused on the work the people of the 14th District elected her to do.”

The district includes parts of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Underwood defeated Oberweis by more than 5,300 votes in November to win a second term. Oberweis subsequently requested discovery recounts in the district’s seven counties, two of which still are pending, Akin said.

In his filing with the House, Oberweis specifically alleged irregularities in Kane, DuPage and McHenry counties.

Among them, Oberweis claims thousands of illegal votes were counted. In one case, he said, a Wisconsin resident voted in McHenry County.

When pressed to share evidence of that vote, Akin provided a tweet by someone claiming to be a Kenosha resident who voted for Underwood. In the tweet, the person claimed to be registered to vote in the 14th District and to have not registered in Wisconsin.

McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio said he hadn’t heard of Oberweis’ concerns until he was contacted Tuesday by the Daily Herald. His office has requested a copy of Oberweis’ notice of contest and referred the tweet Oberweis cited to the state’s attorney’s office.

“We take such allegations very seriously,” Tirio said.

Oberweis also alleges some Kane County voters were not allowed to vote provisionally. Additionally, he said the number of ballots cast in DuPage County far exceeded the number of voters.

Representatives of the DuPage and Kane county clerks’ offices couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Oberweis’ attorney in the matter is Mark Shaw, chairman of the Lake County Republican organization.

Under the Federal Contested Elections Act, a House candidate is allowed to challenge an election’s results after exhausting all possible remedies at the state level.

A House committee will review the case and make a recommendation to the full House for a final decision, Akin said. There is no judicial recourse, he said.