MARENGO – Defeated Ward 1 Alderman candidate Raymond Knake said he will seek a recount after Marengo’s official election results come in April 18.
Knake faced incumbent Nicole DeBoer for the seat and lost by two votes. DeBoer came out on top with 161 votes to Knake’s 159. Knake said a recount is in order because the vote was so close.
“I think anyone who lost on two votes would do a recount,” he said. “It could be a machine error. … If it stays the same, it stays the same.”
Shortly after the election results came in, some Marengo residents said on social media they received incorrect ballots and voted for alderman whose wards they don't live in. Knake said he had heard from these residents himself as well.
“I am not sure who is to blame,” Knake said. “I just want it to be fair. Even if I don’t come out on top, it should be fair.”
Successor Nicole DeBoer said she trusted the process.
“I trust the McHenry County Clerk will make sure the election was recorded fairly and according to the law,” she said.
Knake must wait until official results come in on April 18 and then he will have five days to file an official request for a recount in writing with the clerk’s office.
In regards to mixed up ballots, McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan said that in every election there is a chance for human error, but voters always have the right to voice their concerns if they notice something isn’t right on their ballots.
“We will double-check and have the judges issue the right ballot,” she said. “I believe this was exacerbated this election because there were 683 ballot styles filed because of all of the different divisions in each city and municipalities. It’s very complicated.”
Marengo redrew its wards in 2014. Some speculated that could have been the cause of potentially mixed-up ballots, but McClellan said the county worked specifically with Marengo to ensure that everyone was on the same page come election time.
“There is always room for error,” she said. “But we went above and beyond to make sure this didn’t happen.”