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Prim official winner, Zinke to ask for partial recount

Published: Friday, April 4, 2014 12:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 4, 2014 7:18 p.m. CDT
(Sarah Nader)
Sarah Nader - McHenry County Sheriff candidate Bill Prim checks the most recents results while celebrating at the Pinecrest Golf Club in Huntley Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
(Kyle Grillot)
Kyle Grillot - McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke looks out into the crowd while waiting for results to filter in during his election night gathering Tuesday in Crystal Lake.

WOODSTOCK – Undersheriff Andy Zinke plans to ask for a partial recount now that the vote totals have been canvassed and certified by the County Clerk.

Ninety-seven votes, or less than 1 percent of those cast, separate Zinke from opponent and winner of the Republican Primary for McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim.

The votes totals became official Thursday after the County Clerk's Office counted late absentee and provisional ballots.

"I'm going to do the partial recount because it's less than a percent," Zinke said Friday. "My friends, my family, everybody is asking me to do it. Why wouldn't I check? Just because its so close. I have no reason not to do one."

A partial, or discovery, recount is fairly standard practice, especially in tight races, County Clerk Katherine Schultz has said. It examines a sampling of precincts – up to 53 of the county's 212 – to see whether there is anything that could potentially lead to a change in the results.

The only way to change the outcome of the race is a court-ordered full recount.

The cost for the recount is paid by Zinke, but Schultz said the $10 per precinct he or any other candidate pays, doesn't come close to covering the manpower costs to conduct the recount.

Prim, a retired police commander in Des Planes, earned 14,520 votes to Zinke's 14,423. Only 16.9 percent of McHenry County's registered voters showed up March 18 for the Primary election.

Assuming he collects enough signatures to be on the ballot, Prim will face a general election challenge from Woodstock-based attorney Jim Harrison. Harrison has indicated he is not dropping out of the race. He needs more than 6,000 signatures to be on the ballot as an independent candidate.

After certifying, the outcome of other close races – including two County Board seats – didn't change. Nancy Gonsiorek lost in District 3 by 30 votes, and District 6's Ersel Schuster by 61.

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