NORMAL — Mayor Chris Koos is in line to serve a fourth term, but challenger Marc Tiritilli isn't finished yet.
After Koos again finished ahead of Tiritilli when absentee and provisional ballots were counted Tuesday — by an 11-vote margin of 3,125 to 3,114 versus his seven-vote lead on April 4's election night — Tiritilli told The Pantagraph he will seek a discovery recount.
“You’re really trying to divine what the most accurate statement from voters is,” Tiritilli said of the process, which will allow him and his representatives to review ballots from up to 25 percent of Normal's precincts — seven of 30.
That recount would be run by the McLean County clerk's office.
Tiritilli has five business days after results are certified April 25 to file a petition to seek the recount, said Elections Director Denise Cesario, so the window closes May 1.
Tiritilli said previously he hopes to review 96 possible undervotes and one overvote — votes intended but not counted because the marking on the ballot suggested the voter chose neither or both candidates — in discovery.
If Tiritilli finds evidence that could swing the election his way, he said, he may pursue a complete recount through McLean County Circuit Court.
Neither Tiritilli nor Brent Davis, director of the Illinois State Board of Elections' division of election operations, was certain Tuesday how long a complete recount would take.
The winner, currently Koos, is set to be sworn in May 1.
“The law says, until a new mayor is sworn in, I am the current mayor,” Koos said Tuesday. “I’m moving ahead with my council, on issues short term and long term.”
Koos referred to the 2009 race between Dennis Pauley and David Levin for Rock Island mayor as a possible precedent. That race was decided July 15, the Quad City Times reported.
While a discovery recount is only $10 per precinct, a complete recount would cost a lot more. Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner, also a political science professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, estimated a $20,000 cost.
“I think it’s going to be considerably less than that. Somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 is my estimate. That’s just a rough guess at this point,” Tiritilli said.
Koos, 68, owner of Vitesse Cycle Shop, has made improving uptown Normal and overall economic development a priority since he was appointed mayor in 2003, succeeding Kent Karraker.
Koos defeated Victor Connor and JeVaughn Martin in 2013, Andrew Matthews in 2009 and longtime council member Jeff Fritzen in 2005.
“I was pleased they moved in my direction again. I didn’t think it would make a difference in the outcome,” Koos said of Tuesday's ballots. “I feel pretty good about it.”
Tiritilli, 51, is a Bloomington High School science teacher who campaigned on reducing Normal's debt load and diversifying the local economy.