BLOOMINGTON — A week after Normal Mayor Chris Koos was sworn in for a fourth term, he was confident his razor-thin re-election would withstand a recount.
“From the evidence I’ve found, people that have gone through this process, attorneys that have represented (candidates in) discovery recounts like this in Illinois, have said it’s incredibly rare that the results change,” he said. “We just have to go through the process.”
Koos and challenger Marc Tiritilli, who finished 11 votes behind in the April 4 election among 6,336 votes cast, will be on hand alongside attorneys, other campaign representatives and McLean County clerk's office staff for a discovery recount of their race starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Government Center, downtown Bloomington.
The partial recount will let Tiritilli examine ballots from seven Normal precincts to gather evidence to potentially pursue a full recount.
“I’m not sure how long it will take to make that determination,” Tiritilli said of choosing to ask for a full recount, which he can do through May 25 in circuit court. “It will take some time sifting through what we’ve noted, consulting my lawyer and doing a little research.”
Tiritilli will examine precincts 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 25, which he said he chose by total votes, votes for Koos and undervotes — ballots not counted in the race because the voter appeared to choose neither candidate.
“We’ll be trying to get a visual on each ballot so in effect we can do hand tabulation while the machine tabulation is being run,” he said.
A high percentage of undervotes could reflect faulty machinery, and checking more votes for Koos gives Tiritilli a better shot to challenge votes against him.
Tiritilli also has examined voter signatures from those precincts to find discrepancies between voter registration cards and Election Day signatures.
“We found a few dozen of varying degrees of mismatch. ... There were a few missing judges' initials. I’m not sure what that means,” he said. “We weren’t there to speculate, just to note differences and see where that goes."
He noted some voters have valid reasons for changing signatures.
“Some of these signatures are quite old. We found some from the '60s. Given 40 or 50 years, we would expect some discrepancy," he said.
In response, Koos has asked some to sign affidavits verifying they voted April 4.
“By our estimates, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 (signatures) are likely to be challenged,” he said. “I probably talked to about 60 people. ... I got about 20 (affidavits) back.”
The discovery recount is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but will finish when every vote has been retabulated, said County Clerk Kathy Michael.
Koos, 68, the owner of Vitesse Cycle Shop, has been mayor since 2003.
Tiritilli, 51, is a Bloomington High School science teacher.