MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The court made its ruling and now the ballots from the 2018 General Election for the office of Macon County Sheriff will have to be recounted.
A date has been set. On July 7, the clerk’s office is required to manually recount each vote.
As previously reported, Jim Root lost the election by one vote to Tony Brown. Root has contested it in court ever since.
The result of the 2018 General Election for Macon County Sheriff was a close call. “Mr. Brown, the sheriff now, was declared the winner,” said Macon County Clerk Josh Tanner. “It was a one vote margin.”
The court ruled that a full manual recount of all the ballots under the supervision of the county clerk must be done because there could have been voter error discrepancies. “When the votes are tabulated, if a voter doesn’t properly cast their ballot–meaning they mark it outside of the box in some way–the machine wouldn’t county that. It would be counted as a ‘No Vote.’ So, not a vote for either candidate.” The manual recount would ensure that all votes are properly counted. “There will be one republican judge and one democratic judge that will do the counting and sorting of all the ballots. Mr. Brown and Mr. Root will each be allowed to have one observer at each table.”
The current term for Macon County Sheriff runs until 2022. Potentially, if the recount results in a majority vote for Jim Root, he would take over the position for the remainder of that time.
Jim Root’s lawyer, John Fogarty, issued the following statement from Root:
We are excited to finally begin recourting by hand all of the ballots cast in the Macon County Sheriff’s race from 2018. Given the 1-vote margin, it is obviously important to do this by hang, so that we obtain as accurate a count as possible. Of course we hope that the recount goes in our favor, but more than that, we believe the voters of Macon County deserve a final result that they can have confidence in.John Fogarty, Lawyer for Jim Root
There were 39,309 total votes for the Macon County Sheriff’s position in the last election. The county clerk said the recount could take between 3-4 weeks. WCIA reached out to Sheriff Brown’s lawyer for a comment on this, but have not received a response.