Elections

City Council candidates in Belleville and Fairview seek recounts

Rothweiler discusses Ward 6 vote count

Chris Rothweiler discusses the new vote totals in the race to be the alderman in Belleville Ward 6. After vote by mail ballots were counted, Rothweiler took the lead in the race over Andrew Gaa.
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Chris Rothweiler discusses the new vote totals in the race to be the alderman in Belleville Ward 6. After vote by mail ballots were counted, Rothweiler took the lead in the race over Andrew Gaa.

City council incumbents from Belleville and Fairview Heights, both of whom lost in the April 2 election by three votes, each filed for a one-precinct recount Friday.

Belleville Ward 6 Alderman Andy Gaa wants a recount in Belleville Precinct 35 and Fairview Heights Ward 2 Alderman Roger Lowry wants a recount in Caseyville Precinct 15.

St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook said he has 30 days to comply with their requests and that he will inform the candidates next week when his office will do the recounts. He said the recounts probably will be conducted in the first full week of May.

Belleville Ward 6 challenger Chris Rothweiler had 313 votes and Gaa had 310 votes after the mail-in ballots were counted on April 16. Those ballots flipped the unofficial results from the night of April 2 when Gaa had a seven-vote lead of 306 to 299 over Rothweiler.

Fairview Heights Ward 2 challenger Anthony J. LeFlore had 161 votes and Lowry had 158 votes after the mail-in ballots were counted on April 16.

Holbrook had to wait 14 days before he could count the mail-in ballots that arrived after April 2. The deadline to file what’s officially called a “petition for discovery recount” was Friday.

Gaa’s petition asks that a recount be conducted in his presence and that it include examination and counting of ballots, examination of voting machines, examination of all ballot applications and comparison of the signatures on the ballot applications with the original signature of each voter’s registration card.

Rothweiler, who is scheduled to be sworn into office on May 6, declined to comment on Gaa’s petition.

Gaa could not be reached for comment.

Gaa and Lowry each had to pay $10 to the clerk’s office for the recount of one precinct. Their requests could not exceed 25 percent of the precincts in their respective wards.

Lowry said he hopes the recount is done before May 7. That’s the first Tuesday of May and that’s when Fairview Heights aldermen traditionally are sworn into office, he said.

LeFlore could not be reached for comment.

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and grew up in St. Louis.


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