Hundreds more votes to be counted next week in Frerichs-Cross race

Hundreds more votes to be counted next week in Frerichs-Cross race

URBANA — Hundreds of new votes will be counted in East Central Illinois next week in the state treasurer's race, where Oswego Republican Tom Cross holds a thin lead over Champaign Democrat Mike Frerichs.

Most of the new votes, though, will come from Champaign County.

County Clerk Gordy Hulten said Friday that he expected between 475 and 500 new Champaign County votes would be added to the existing totals when late-arriving absentee and provisional votes are counted Tuesday morning.

Other area election authorities will be counting significantly fewer votes.

In Piatt County, for example, 20 more votes were tabulated Friday. Fifteen went to Cross and five to Frerichs, giving the Republican a 4,135 to 2,597 advantage.

Unofficial returns, compiled by Scott Kennedy of the Illinois Election Data website, gave Cross a 664-vote lead over Frerichs.

That will change Monday and Tuesday as most election authorities count and validate ballots, some of which came in the mail after Election Day but can be counted so long as they were postmarked by the midnight before the polls opened Nov. 4.

In Champaign County, Hulten said, it appears there will be 325 late-arriving absentee ballots to count, plus about 150 provisional ballots. The Frerichs campaign hopes those ballots equal or exceed the 52.85 percent that Frerichs had unofficially in his home county on election night.

In Vermilion County, approximately 61 provisional and 17 absentee ballots will be counted Monday morning. The Danville Election Commission, a separate election authority, will count as many as 123 provisional and three absentee ballots on Tuesday.

In Douglas County, as many as 20 ballots remain to be counted, although some of those are provisional ballots for which no verification has been offered. Those ballots will be rejected.

Ford County election officials have about eight votes to count, they said.

Tuesday is the deadline for election authorities to validate and count provisional and absentee ballots. They then have until Nov. 25 to report results to the State Board of Elections. It is scheduled to meet on Sunday, Nov. 30 to certify the election results.

The treasurer's race is likely to go down as the closest race for a statewide constitutional office in modern Illinois history. The 1982 governor's race between Democrat Adlai Stevenson and incumbent Republican Jim Thompson was decided in Thompson's favor by 5,075 votes.

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