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WOODSTOCK – The votes from the March 18 primary election should be certified later this week, the County Clerk confirmed.
After late absentee ballots were counted, there are 97 votes that separate McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke and projected winner of the Republican sheriff's primary Bill Prim.
Zinke has not conceded, saying he would wait until the votes are canvassed and certified before making his next move.
The County Clerk's Office has until April 8 to certify the results, but with a pending vacation, Katherine Schultz says she plans to have the votes certified this week.
The candidates have five days from April 8 to decide if either want what's called a discovery recount. That recount 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 cost of that recount is paid for by the candidate, but there's still a great disparity between what candidates pay and what it actually costs, Schultz said. The cost – $10 per precinct – doesn't cover the manpower it takes to conduct such recount.
Prim says his options are open, but at this point, he sees no need to ask for a discovery recount.
The only way to change the election results is a court-ordered full recount, the costs of which also are paid for by the petitioner. A full recount is more uncommon than the discovery recount, which is fairly standard practice in a tight race, Schultz said.
Prim likely will face attorney Jim Harrison in the November general election. Harrison needs to collect more than 6,000 signatures to be on the ballot as an independent candidate. Prim and Zinke needed 517 signatures.