As Illinois voters wait for answers from Tuesday's primary, many are wondering if a recount is in order--with predictions that Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady in the GOP race for governor could come within only one vote of one another.
Those attending Tuesday night's election parties were getting mixed messages from the candidates on both sides. On the Democratic side, Gov. Pat Quinn declared victory over state Comptroller Dan Hynes, saying "One more vote than the other guy is a landslide in my book." Unfortunately, that is not how it works--especially in a race that has been as aggressive and sometimes hostile as the Hynes-Quinn battle.
FiveThirtyEight's statistical guru Nate Silver predicts Quinn's lead over Hynes will expand rather than contract as the last ballots are counted, adding that there "might" be a recount in the Democratic race, but "unless there are mass irregularities or whole stashes of ballots that haven't been counted yet, it is unlikely to change the outcome."
On the GOP side, however, Silver thinks a Brady and Dillard recount might be necessary:
...essentially all of the outstanding vote is in Cook County (Chicago), where Dillard is picking up 18 percent of the vote so far and Brady just 5 percent. If I project out the remaining Cook County precincts based on the previous ones, I show Dillard picking up another 800 votes and Brady another 225. That would make the statewide margin Dillard 154,876, and Brady 154,877 -- an advantage of literally one vote for Brady.
"Have any of you ever seen one election with a dozen recounts?," Cook County Clerk David Orr asked Chicago Tribune reporters as the votes came in Tuesday night. "I see a lot of very tight races here."
Orr passed on the following "recount rules" to the Tribune:
* If a losing margin is within 5 percent of the winner, the candidate can demand a "discovery recount."
* In a discovery recount, the losing candidate can petition the clerk's office to retabulate votes in up to 25 percent of the precincts of the candidates choice.
* If the discovery recount uncovers evidence of missed votes or disenfranchisement, the candidate can then opt to sue in circuit court for a full recount, a process Orr said can take months to complete.
* Filing for discovery recount is March 1.
Get a recap of the rest of Tuesday's primary results here.
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