BLOOMINGTON — Normal mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli gave even odds Wednesday on whether he'll pursue a full recount of his April 4 loss to Chris Koos.
"I'd say 50/50 at this point," said Tiritilli after a partial recount concluded Wednesday afternoon. "We still have a lot of work to do."
Tiritilli requested a discovery recount after losing by 11 votes of 6,336 cast to the incumbent Koos. The discovery recount process can't change the results of an election but it lets a candidate review a quarter of the voting precincts — seven in this race — for evidence supporting the need for a full recount.
Officials found only two issues in about eight hours reviewing hundreds of ballots Tuesday and Wednesday: A ballot that was counted twice in Normal's 10th precinct and a ballot with an incorrect marking for election judge's initials in the 25th precinct. Both included votes for Tiritilli.
"These are some of the cleanest ballots I've ever seen," said Adam Lasker, an attorney representing Koos who specializes in election issues.
Tiritilli said he was unsurprised the recount, which used the same machines as the election, returned mostly the same results. His team photographed every paper ballot recounted and records of digital ballots to do their own hand tally.
"Machines are repeatable. If there is an error, I expect it to repeat the error. ... We have to sit down and look," he said. "I'm looking somewhere in the next week to 10 days to hopefully have this all wrapped up."
Tiritilli can request a full recount through May 25 in circuit court. That could cost thousands of dollars, and McLean County clerk's office officials have not announced how they'll address the costs incurred by the discovery recount.
Koos said that in the meantime his team will continue to pursue affidavits from voters whose signatures might be challenged in court. Tiritilli's team is comparing how voters signed on Election Day to how they signed when they registered to vote to find inconsistencies, which could reflect illegitimate votes.
"I know we have some (to challenge), but I need to do more research on what the standard is. ... Some of these left a middle initial off, and others were spaghetti slanted to the left versus a signature slanted to the right," he said. "We're not going after old folks (whose signatures may have changed)."
Koos said he's received 32 affidavits confirming the legitimacy of an individual's vote. The vast majority of them are from the second precinct, where he lives and visited many residents over the weekend.
He hopes to get 100 affidavits among 300 voters whose signatures his team expects to be challenged.
"It's our intention to touch all 300," he said. "People are anxious to respond when they hear their vote might get challenged."
Koos, 68, owns Vitesse Cycle Shop and has been mayor since 2003.
Tiritilli, 51, is a Bloomington High School science teacher.