Kane County judge recount could take most of week
The final, tedious leg of a discovery recount began Monday in the race for the Republican nomination for Kane County Circuit judge.
Geneva defense attorney D.J. Tegeler won the March 18 primary by seven votes over Marmarie Kostelny.
Kostelny, a Kane County associate judge, exercised her right to ask for a discovery recount of 25 percent of precincts and has until May 19 to ask a judge for a full recount.
Last week, officials counted two precincts from Aurora; Monday's recount at the Kane County clerk's office encompassed 16 precincts and could take several days.
"We scheduled the whole week to do this. Hopefully, it won't take that long," Kane County Director of Elections Suzanne Fahnestock told members of Kostelny and Tegeler's camps who were on hand at county offices Monday to observe the recount.
The recount of some 5,800 ballots was divided into three stations: absentee ballots, early ballots and those votes cast March 18.
Across from each station was a table where a person from Tegeler and Kostelny's camp each observed.
Deputy clerks unrolled results from the county's eSlate program and read off each vote.
John Countryman, an attorney representing Kostelny, said he would not be objecting to any specific ballots counted this week and any data collected could be used to ask a judge for a full recount.
The deadline for Kostelny to make that decision is May 19.
"I have to take all this and analyze it," Countryman said. "We have a right to look at the stuff and have it recounted. We have to make a decision whether to proceed with a full recount or not to proceed when we're done here."
Tegeler was represented in the matter by Ken Shepro.
"The votes are in. There's nothing I can do but watch," Tegeler said.
At one point, Countryman got upset that Tegeler was supposedly over a table that had some notes on it and told Tegeler to move.
Tegeler angrily responded that he was standing next to Shepro, who was seated at the same table.
"I know we're in litigation, but you don't need to shove me and you don't need to yell at me anymore," Tegeler said to Countryman.
In the Aurora recount, Countryman said he believed one ballot was questionable because the vote machine would not count it last week; Shepro disagreed, saying the voter put check marks in the boxes instead of filling them in with pencil and courts have upheld ballots where the voter's intent is clear.
Monday, officials counted 13 of 20 early voting sites and six of 16 precincts, Tegeler said.
The winner advances to the Nov. 4 general election; no Democrat has filed for the seat.