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Local Government

Recount doesn't help Carrignan in St. Charles aldermanic race

GENEVA – A discovery recount held Thursday for St. Charles’ 2nd Ward aldermanic race didn’t result in a favorable change for Cliff Carrignan, the candidate who requested the recount.

Carrignan lost the election in April to Art Lemke by five votes.

With the race being so close, Carrignan said, it was right to ask for the recount. However, he said, he didn’t expect the results would change.

“I think it’s extraordinarily difficult to overturn an election, and I think it should be that way,” Carrignan said. “I respect the process and congratulate Art on his victory.”

Lemke said he, too, didn’t expect the results would change.

He was sworn into office Monday and said he is ready to begin his term.

Neither candidate attended the four-hour recount at the Kane County Clerk’s Office in Geneva, but each had representatives in his place. Attorney Ken Shepro represented Lemke, and 4th Ward Alderman Jo Krieger represented Carrignan. Second Ward Alderman Rita Payleitner and former mayor Sue Klinkhamer also watched the proceedings.

Results of the recount, which addressed only Precinct 28, were nearly identical to the Kane County Clerk’s original tally.

Both counts indicated five absentee ballots for Lemke and eight for Carrignan, and 43 Election Day ballots for Lemke and 116 for Carrignan.

Early voting tallies had discrepancies. The original count had 48 total votes whereas the recount had 47, including two ballots where no candidate was chosen. In the recount, Carrignan lost four early votes, and Lemke gained one.

Neither Director of Elections Suzanne Fahnestock nor Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Niermann had theories for the difference, only speculation.

Even if Carrignan had made strides in the count, that doesn’t necessarily mean the results would have been overturned, officials said.

Candidates use the results of discovery recounts to determine whether they want to pay for a full recount, Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said.

To overturn an election, candidates must go to a judge, who determines whether there is adequate evidence to overturn the results, he said.

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