Discovery recount underway for sheriff’s seat

UPDATE as of 8:10 p.m. on November 30:

Jim Root says as a result of the discovery recount, authorities discovered two more votes for him. He’s now asking Chubby Brown to join him in petitioning the court for a full recount.

Here is his full statement:

“On 11/30/2018 as part of a discovery recount effort for the office of the Macon County Sheriff, it was discovered that two ballots were in possession of the County Clerk’s office on election night, and by admitted error, were not counted. Those two ballots were determined to be votes for Jim Root. As a result of this information we invite Tony Brown to agree to jointly petition the court for a full recount so the citizens of Macon County may truly know the legitimately elected Sheriff. Today was a long day for my team and County Clerk Steve Bean and his staff. I would like to thank him, as it is because of his unparalleled integrity we were made aware of the outstanding two ballots. I would also like to give a special thank you to all of the Republican and Democrat election judges, these results would not have been possible without their efforts.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Tony Brown won the election to become the next sheriff by just one vote. While “Chubby” was sworn in, his opponent, Jim Root, was making sure the correct winner was chosen.

A winner for the seat of Macon County Sheriff has been chosen, but the process isn’t over yet. Jim Root lost to Tony “Chubby” Brown by one vote. He’s requested a discovery recount to find out if the votes were correct.

“We’re going to continue with this process and we hope that it’s respectful on both sides.”

The election judges are counting more than 11,000 ballots. They started counting votes by hand, but were told, from legal counsel, it could not be done. So now, they’re going over votes by machine.

Jerry Stocks is legal counsel for Root. He says there was a discovery made.

“Two uncounted ballots in Hickory Point 1 Township that were opened. They’re separately sealed. They’ve not yet been added to the official count, but we believe they should be and they were both for Mr. Root.”

Stocks says that means there are two fewer votes than thought.

“This is evidence those votes should have been counted and, had they been on the night of proclamation of the winner, it would have been a different winner.”

If Root finds enough evidence during the discovery process, he can go to the courts to ask an actual recount be done. But, Stocks says they can’t make conclusions yet.

“It’s a discovery process and there’s a lot of votes out there.”

This discovery recount won’t change the outcome of the election. Tony Brown is being sworn in. Regardless of the results, he’s looking forward to serving.

“Make sure we at the sheriff’s office continue to be fiscally responsible and be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”

Brown will not actually become sheriff until midnight. If Root finds enough evidence during the discovery recount, he can go to the circuit court and ask for a full recount. That could happen in December or January.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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