GENEVA – Preliminary results from Tuesday’s election show that 155,541 votes were cast, or 51.67% of all the county’s 301,004 registered voters, Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said.
“It is a good turnout for a midterm,” Cunningham said. “I’m pleased. I’m happy. That is our goal to get turnout. That’s why we have voter outreach programs.”
Nearly half the votes were cast prior to Tuesday either by mail or early voting, so about 80,000 people voted on election day, Cunningham said.
“What else was helping was the trailer precincts we had at Jewel food stores,” Cunningham said. “These little bits add up. Mooseheart and private companies had electronic signs. It’s been effective and I’m very pleased with that.”
His office also had a slide presentation they did to several groups in the county to illustrate and promote voting, he said.
The vote total is down slightly from the 172,156 votes cast and 54.77% in the Nov. 2018 election, but it is the second highest of midterm elections over the last 30 years, he said.
More than 26,000 voters voted by mail, exceeding the prior record of 14,501 in November 2018, the release stated.
Mail-in ballots still outstanding
Unofficial results are likely to change as 7,094 mail-in ballots have not yet been returned.
Cunningham cited state law which allows mail-in ballots to be counted within 14 days as long as they are postmarked on or before Nov. 8, with the final count completed on Nov. 22.
But what that means for close races is that a candidate who is ahead as of Tuesday, might not be once all the votes are received, Cunningham said.
The clerk’s website, electionresults.countyofkane.org, updates totals as mail-in ballots are counted:
• County Board District 22 has 426 mail-in ballots outstanding. In unofficial results, incumbent Democrat Vern Tepe has 3,379 votes to Republican challenger Jeffrey Meyer’s 3,276 votes, a difference of 103 votes.
Tepe said Meyer had already called with this congratulations.
Meyer said he relied on statistical probability to decide to concede.
“I’m a realist,” Meyer said. “I believe in winning and losing both graciously and humbly. I was glad to be able to give him congratulatory call.”
• County Board District 23 has 288 ballots outstanding. Incumbent Democrat Christopher Kious is leading with 2,693 votes to Republican challenger Gregory Buck’s 2,664 votes, a difference of 29 votes. Kious is also president of the Kane County Forest Preserve Commission.
Buck said he is waiting for every vote to be counted.
“My perspective is there are a lot of outstanding independents and we saw a lot of independents vote our way,” Buck said. “I understand mail-in ballots do favor Democrats, but we want to wait until every vote is counted and make sure whatever outstanding ballots are out there – everyone gets a say before we make a decision.”
Kious was glad to see the numbers change.
“I like this side of it better this morning – I was separated by -11 votes,” Kious said. “I’m relieved that votes are moving in this direction. It’s not totally unexpected there’s a little favorability on the Democrat side.”
• County Board District 13 has 382 outstanding mail-in ballots. Democratic challenger Michael Linder is leading with 4,115 votes to incumbent Republican Todd Wallace’s 4,034 – a difference of 81 votes.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Linder said, adding that he expects most mail-in ballots to be from Democrats.
Wallace did not return a voice mail message seeking comment.
• County Board District 16 has 320 outstanding mail-in ballots. Incumbent Republican Michael Kenyon is leading with 3,019 votes to Democrat challenger Ted Penesis’s 2,929 votes, a difference of 92 votes.
“I’m optimistic,” Kenyon said – and complimented his opponent.
“He was a terrific campaigner,” Kenyon said.
Penesis did not return a voice mail message seeking comment.
Local state races
State races with unofficial results: State Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, leading Democrat challenger Linda Robertson; Democrat Matt Hansen leading incumbent State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego; State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, leading Republican challenger Joe West.
Countywide races with unofficial results have incumbent Republican Cunningham leading Democratic challenger Nicolas Jiminez for county clerk; incumbent Democrat Ron Hain leading Republican challenger Jeffrey Bodin for sheriff; and Republican Chris Lauzen leading Democrat Jeffrey Prisupich for county treasurer.
County Board races with unofficial results have incumbent Dale Berman, D-North Aurora, leading Republican challenger Robert McQuillan in District 2; incumbent Bill Lenert, R-Sugar Grove, leading Democrat Deirdre Battaglia in District 5; Democrat challenger William Tarver leading incumbent David Brown, R-Batavia in District 10.
Also, Democrat Leslie Juby leading Republican Brian Jones in District 11; Republican Bill Roth leading Democrat Steve Bruesewitz in District 12; incumbent Mark Davoust, R-St. Charles, leading Democrat Tom Hodge in District 14; and Republican David Young leading Democrat Scott Johansen in District 15.
The remaining County Board races show Republican Richard Williams leading Democrat Sam Walker in District 18; incumbent Clifford Surges, R-Gilberts, leading Democrat challenger Courtney Boe in District 21; and incumbent Jarett Sanchez, R-Carpentersville, leading Republican challenger Charles Myers in District 24.
Two referendums also appear to have failed, according to unofficial results: The $140 million bond issue in Batavia District 101 was tallied at 6,996 against and 6,904 in favor, a difference of 92 votes.
And the question of whether to appoint instead of elect the village clerk in Campton Hills, was 3,785 against, 1,127 in favor, a difference of 2,568 votes.