Keeping count on election

April 22, 2013 

This isn't Florida and there are no hanging chads, but all eyes will be on St. Clair County today when the provisional and the voided and late absentee ballots are counted.

Four races are so close that these extra ballots potentially could change the outcome:

* Belleville Alderman Tim Carpenter lost by one vote.

* Belleville Alderwoman Dorothy Meyer lost by three votes.

* Caseyville Mayor George Chance lost by eight votes.

* St. Clair Township Highway Commissioner candidate John "Skip" Kernan lost by nine votes.

County Clerk Bob Delaney said we should know the outcomes by 10 a.m. today. But that may not be the end of it.

If a controversial ruling on a ballot decides even one race, it will be suspect. If it alters two or more outcomes, listen for loud cries of foul. Yet to come are the vote canvass on April 30 and then possibly recounts.

It's disheartening that these ballots --cast by people who were not on the registration list when they showed up to vote, who mailed their ballots late or who couldn't sign their absentee ballot correctly --might decide an election. If people who stayed home on Election Day felt bad about the close votes, imagine how they will feel if these ballots change a winner into a loser.

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