Root hopes court will rule him winner

MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Sheriff candidate Jim Root is trying to prove in court he should wear the badge.

It will be up to a judge to decide whether it happens, but Root says he found evidence he needs to prove he’s the true winner of the race.

Root is trying to prove mistakes were made and fraud was committed. He says after the discovery recount, he found four additional votes for him which should have been counted.

He found two votes for Chubby Brown he says should not have been counted. So, if the judge finds it legitimate, it would put Root five votes ahead of Brown.

Root wants a full, by-hand recount of ballots in Hickory Point 7 Precinct, where he says two votes for him weren’t deemed valid by the machines, but clearly show the voter’s intention. Also, two votes for Brown which shouldn’t be counted because they weren’t initialed by an election judge and the inclusion of two ballots from Hickory Point 1 Precinct he says were marked correctly, but wrongfully not counted.

The new county clerk says the process is now out of his hands and his office has to wait for the court to tell him what to do next. But, he says the machines themselves can’t really be blamed for the outcome.

“The error rate on those machines is astronomical. I mean, it’s very, very rare that the machine would make an error. The error comes in when the ballot is not filled out correctly.”

Here’s an example of a ballot which wasn’t counted by a machine, but Root says should be counted by hand. It’s clearly not properly marked, but you could say it’s also clear who the voter meant to vote for.

But, at the end of it all, even if a judge finds Jim Root got more votes, it’s in the judge’s hands to decide whether or not he would become sheriff.

Brown declined to comment during the process and Root couldn’t be reached for comment.

As a refresher, on election night, Root was declared the winner by 99 votes. When election results were certified and all vote by mail and provisional ballots were counted, Brown was declared the official winner by one vote. Brown is currently serving as sheriff.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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