GENEVA – Eleven absentee ballots have changed the totals for the contested Geneva Township clerk race, but not the outcome, according to unofficial results.
All three candidates were write-ins.
On election night, Geoffrey Carreiro appeared to have defeated Debbie Draus by one vote, but adding absentee votes counted so far gives Carreiro a bigger lead – 146 to 142. Another candidate, John Carlson, had 83 votes and his total was unchanged by the absentee ballots, election supervisor Suzanne Fahnestock said.
Fahnestock said the clerk’s office will accept absentee ballots until today, as long as they are postmarked on or before April 9.
In all, the clerk’s office received 15 of the 23 absentee ballots still out for Geneva.
County Clerk Jack Cunningham said his office has recounted 140 precincts for election day voting and 40 for early voting without any change in vote totals.
Cunningham said the losing candidate in the clerk’s race has the right to seek a recount.
But he said no such recounts have been successful in his tenure.
“We’ve had about 16 recounts, and it never changed a vote,” Cunningham said.
Carreiro, who was knocked off the ballot in January and ran as a write-in, said he is excited to be giving back to the community by serving as clerk, once all the absentee ballots are officially in.
“Thank you for everybody who got involved and voted,” Carreiro.
Draus said she had expected to get a few more votes through absentee balloting.
“We were just kind of hoping that he was not going to get any,” Draus said. “He had more supporters than I did. I wish him the best.”
Draus said she would not challenge the outcome if Carreiro wins the clerk’s race.
Although six ballots still are out, Draus said she did not think she could count on getting enough to make a difference in the outcome.
Draus said she has no plans to run for any other offices.
She said she would continue to volunteer locally with the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and festivals.