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Shiloh mayoral hopeful is one of 5 candidates seeking recounts in April elections:
Candidates lost by less than 20 votes
bnd.com. May 02, 2009. BY SCOTT WUERZ

A Shiloh village trustee who lost his bid to be mayor when lost votes were discovered in the wee hours after the results were counted is one of five candidates to formally ask for a recount of the April election results.

Bill Sankus, who lost by 19 votes to incumbent Mayor Jim Vernier, will have a recount hearing Tuesday at the St. Clair Country Courthouse.

"There is a discrepancy in the ballots handed out to Shiloh residents in the Whiteside School area, and this also needs to be examined," Sankus said in his request for a recount, which asked for ballots in precincts 16, 22, 24 and 26 to be recounted.

Other candidates filing Friday for a recount were:

Terry Jennings, who lost by 15 votes to Richard Scobert in his bid for St. Clair Township trustee.

Leslie Sopp, who lost by 14 votes to Lorri Keys in her bid to be a Dupo village trustee.

James T. Jones, who lost by a 395-392 count to John Thornton for Washington Park mayor.

Rickie Thomas, who lost by one vote 491-490 to Joyce A. Smith in the race to be Washington Park village clerk.

Sankus said he believes that some Shiloh residents were given incorrect ballots that did not include the mayoral race. Vernier has maintained that, while there may have been some ballots that improperly left off the mayoral election, he doesn't think there were enough to make a difference.

Vernier said he was made aware that the wrong ballots were being passed out at about 9 a.m. on election day, and he quickly inquired about the problem. Precinct officials told him only four of the incorrect ballots were distributed before the problem was corrected.

Sankus went to bed on election night believing he had won the race. But he discovered the next morning that a voting machine malfunction caused several hundred ballots to go uncounted. When they were tallied, Vernier had edged him out.

St. Clair County Clerk Bob Delaney said candidates in races decided by less than five percent of the vote have the option to demand a recount.

"A person who files for a recount has the right to pick 25 percent of the precincts they ran in to be recounted," Delaney said. "They can go over the absentee and provisional ballots, look at the early votes, and based on what they find they can ask a judge to either overturn the election or order a new election.

Contact Scott Wuerz at swuerz@bnd.com or 239-2626.


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