ROCKFORD — As state Rep. John Cabello pursues a discovery recount, he appears to be targeting the precincts in Rockford and Winnebago County where state Rep.-elect David Vella performed best.
Vella, an attorney and Democrat, narrowly defeated Cabello in the Nov. 3 election. A Rockford police detective, Cabello has held the 68th District seat in the Illinois House for four terms.
"It’s his right to do it," Vella said. "It was a very unique election period with the mail-in ballots and so forth. But I think after all the votes were counted, we had a pretty good-sized lead."
With modern paper ballots and machine counts, Vella said that it is unlikely that Cabello will discover nearly enough votes to challenge the election result. And Vella said he is confident the discovery recount will put to rest any doubt about his victory.
Final election results showed that just 239 votes separated the candidates, with Vella winning 26,770, or 50.2%, to Cabello’s 26,531.
Cabello did not return a phone call seeking comment. Under state law, Cabello is permitted to request a recount in 25% of precincts while inspecting election ballots, machines and documents.
The discovery recount is expected to take place Dec. 15 in Rockford and Dec. 29 in Winnebago County. It could take several days.
The recount itself cannot change any votes or vote tallies. It is used to collect information that can be used as evidence in a potential lawsuit seeking to overturn the election results.
Cabello could be looking for ballots he can challenge as being questionable, in addition to clerical errors by election officials. He also could look for votes he feels were meant to go in his favor but weren’t counted because a voter improperly marked the ballot, such as with an "X" or check mark.
Cabello has asked for the recount to proceed in eight precincts of Rockford Township just outside the city limits and in four precincts of Harlem Township. There will also be recounts in precincts located across the city in Wards 2, 4, 9, 10, 12 and 14.
Vella performed far better inside Rockford city limits than he did in greater Winnebago County. And he won all but two of the precincts to be recounted. Those two precincts Cabello won were located in Harlem Township, and few votes separated the candidates in those precincts.
"When I first started this two years ago, a lot of people said it was a fool’s errand," Vella said. "Myself and my campaign committee really put our shoulders into it and I think we surprised a lot of people.
"I think this is a way just to prove what we did. Giving the people a moderate voice in Springfield is what they want. Everybody has a right to challenge the vote."
via Rockford Register Star
December 13, 2020 at 07:39AM