Belleville aldermanic race unchanged by recount

News-DemocratMay 7, 2013 

— A review and recount of votes Tuesday in one precinct of the Belleville Ward 4 alderman election did not alter the numbers in that race.

Tim Carpenter, the incumbent, lost by three votes, 289-286, to Johnnie Anthony in the April 9 election.

The discovery recount began at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney's office in the St. Clair County Building and was finished in about an hour.

Carpenter reviewed votes cast on election day and through early voting, and also ballots that were challenged and spoiled in Belleville Precinct 15.

In a discovery recount of a specific ward, candidates could ask to review 25 percent of votes. Carpenter focused on Belleville Precinct 15 because there were a high number of absentee ballots cast in that precinct. Of the absentee ballots in that precinct, 26 were for Anthony and one was for Carpenter.

Carpenter noted one signature on an early voting ballot where the last name was not signed the same way on voter rolls.

"I don't buy that. I don't buy that last name," Carpenter said.

After the review, Carpenter said the numbers all added up but he saw some questionable things, such as signatures that did not match up and assisted voters helping a number of people from the same household.

"I don't have any faith in the election system anymore," Carpenter said afterward.

Carpenter did not say whether he will ask for a full recount. He has 30 days from the official vote canvass on April 30 to ask for a full recount.

The purpose of the discovery recount is for Carpenter to see whether he has any evidence to officially contest the election results by filing for a court hearing with the St. Clair County circuit clerk.

A discovery recount has no bearing on official election results.

Anthony had 287 votes on election night and later picked up two votes when the clerk's office counted provisional, challenged and late-arriving absentee ballots.

In other recounts:

* Collinsville City Council candidate Rob Dorman met Tuesday with Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza for a discovery recount. Dorman lost 56-53 to Karen Woolard in the at-large council race for a two-year term.

Ming-Mendoza said she presented Dorman with evidence from six precincts per Dorman's request. "In my opinion, nothing changed," Ming-Mendoza said.

Dorman did not say whether he would seek a full recount, Ming-Mendoza said.

* The discovery recount in the Alton mayoral race between incumbent Tom Hoechst and write-in challenger Brant Walker is May 16. In official tallies, Walker received 1,853 write-in votes to defeat Hoechst, who had 1,779 votes. Hoechst requested a discovery recount and review of 25 percent of the ballots cast.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or Jacqueline Lee at jlee@bnd.com.

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