Gill campaign won't concede 13th District race

Gill campaign won't concede 13th District race

BLOOMINGTON — Democratic congressional candidate David Gill, trailing by 1,287 votes out of 293,146 cast in the 13th District race, is refusing to concede defeat.

The Gill campaign Wednesday released a statement that said it was doing what it could "to ensure that no one who tried to vote in this election was left out."

The statement wasn't as bold as the candidate's own in-person assertion early Wednesday morning at a Champaign hotel that "I believe that when all the votes are counted I'll be your next congressman," but it ensured that the election campaign would be prolonged at least one more day.

Gill's campaign manager, Sherry Greenberg, said that once results were counted from Macon County, it showed that "this is one of the tightest congressional races in the nation. Rodney Davis currently leads David Gill by less than half a percentage point districtwide.

"Dr. Gill is getting some much-needed rest and spending time with his family today while we explore all the legal options available to the campaign to ensure there was a full and fair count of every ballot cast. Today, we will be looking at the impact of provisional ballots on the totals and working to ensure that no one who tried to vote in this election was left out."

The campaign of Republican Rodney Davis issued its own brief statement that "one hundred percent of precincts have reported and Rodney Davis leads by about 1,300 votes. The AP has called the race. CNN has called the race. Politico has called the race. We're confident the numbers will hold up."

Davis for the most part stayed out of the public eye Wednesday, doing a few interviews, stopping by coffee shops in Springfield and taking congratulatory phone calls at his Taylorville home, said spokesman Patrick Pfingsten.

County clerks in Champaign and Macon counties — two of the top three vote-providers in the 13th District — said it was unlikely there were enough outstanding ballots to change the election's outcome.

In Macon County, said County Clerk Stephen Bean, there were a possible 341 absentee ballots out plus 154 provisional ballots. But many of the absentee ballots won't be returned or returned on time, and many of the provisional ballots won't end up being counted, he said.

"The last time we only counted about half of them, and you always have a certain amount of absentees that don't come back," Bean said. "I don't think there's enough out there to overcome the (1,287-vote) difference."

Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said there are, at most, 475 absentee and provisional votes outstanding in Champaign County. Even with that Gill likely would get only 57 percent of those votes — his winning percentage in Champaign County. That would give him only 270 of the 1,287 votes needed — from the county that provided almost one-fifth of all the votes in the district.

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Political Observer wrote on November 09, 2012 at 3:11 pm

The David Gill – Rotteny Davis race has been a very strange one to follow, although it’s certainly an interesting one to examine if you happen to enjoy observing in real time how corrupt and biased the corporate media can be when they choose to go all out for their favorite Republican candidates.  A special “Hats Off!” goes out to WCIA-TV Channel 3 for their election night coverage, which could only be termed “bizarre beyond belief.”

In their coverage, the crawl at the bottom of the screen fluctuated back and forth throughout the night, with Gill leading Dimkus by a large margin at times, only for that large margin to be completely reversed the other way a minute or so later when the results flashed by again.  Naturally, the geniuses at the station never left the numbers up on the screen long enough for an average viewer to fully digest them…and the key point here is that the lead reversals took place with either the same listing for the percentage of the total vote counted (or occasionally, with a LESSER percentage of the total vote counted than was shown the previous time the results had flashed across the bottom of the screen)!  What a great way to strengthen a voter’s faith in the democratic  process!  What appeared to be going on was remarkably similar to the so-called “Volusia Error” that played an important role in the appearance of a supposed George W. Bush “victory” in Florida in the Y2K campaign:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volusia_error

Late in the night on November 7, 2000 the US election had come down to a tight race over Florida and its 25 electoral votes. Both Al Gore and George W. Bush were within 25 electoral votes of the necessary count to win the presidency, so the entire race boiled down to the contest in Florida.

In Volusia County, Florida a strange error was discovered upon reviewing the electronic voting results. As Dana Milbank of the Washington Post put it:

    "Something very strange happened on election night to Deborah Tannenbaum, a Democratic Party official in Volusia County. At 10 p.m., she called the county elections department and learned that Al Gore was leading George W. Bush 83,000 votes to 62,000. But when she checked the county's Web site for an update half an hour later, she found a startling development: Gore's count had dropped by 16,000 votes, while an obscure Socialist candidate had picked up 10,000--all because of a single precinct with only 600 voters." [1]

The error cropped up in Volusia's 216th precinct of only 585 registered voters. A Global Election Systems (acquired by Diebold Election Systems now Premier Election Solutions) voting machine showed that 412 of those registered voters had voted. The problem was that the machine also claimed those 412 voters had somehow given Bush 2,813 votes and in addition had given Gore a negative vote count of -16,022 votes (Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was shown to have an even larger negative vote, though he was not considered a likely winner of the whole Florida election).

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Political Observer wrote on November 09, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Just to add another observation about the coverage of this race, this time with regard to the News-Gazette, it’s interesting that the following 2 paragraphs of the above, online version of the article were left out of the paper edition of the News-Gazette:

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In Macon County, said County Clerk Stephen Bean, there were a possible 341 absentee ballots out plus 154 provisional ballots. But many of the absentee ballots won't be returned or returned on time, and many of the provisional ballots won't end up being counted, he said.

"The last time we only counted about half of them, and you always have a certain amount of absentees that don't come back," Bean said. "I don't think there's enough out there to overcome the (1,287-vote) difference."