Mazzochi Still Behind As Court Battle Continues

ELMHURST, IL – Mail ballots are apparently still arriving in the race between Republican state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi and her Democratic rival, Jenn Ladisch Douglass.

As of Monday morning, Douglass was leading with 21,864 votes to Mazzochi’s 21,521 in the District 45 race, according to unofficial returns. Douglass’ edge is 343 votes, just two more than late last week. Both candidates are from Elmhurst.

To be counted, mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within two weeks of the Nov. 8 election, with that deadline coming Tuesday.

Both candidates have not returned Patch’s repeated messages for comment.

Last week, Mazzochi sued County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek. The lawmaker alleged Kaczmarek’s office was improperly verifying the signatures on mail ballots.

The office has been matching ballot signatures to those on mail ballot applications, rather than voter registrations, as required by law, Mazzochi said in the lawsuit.

In response, a DuPage County Court judge mandated the clerk’s office compare the signatures to those on voter registrations.

Kaczmarek appealed the matter to the state Supreme Court, saying the lower court had no right to rule in such a matter before election results were certified.

In a statement Thursday, Mazzochi said the clerk’s office took the "incredible step" of suspending ballot counting to demand the state Supreme Court reject the lower court’s order.

At least in the District 45 race, no votes were counted in the race for a day or so after the court’s ruling.

In an email late last week, Deputy County Clerk Adam Johnson said the ballot counting was not stopped. He said he could not comment further on Mazzochi’s lawsuit.

Kaczmarek has not returned messages for comment.

In her statement, Mazzochi said it was unprecedented for a county clerk to ignore state law.

"Further, the Clerk’s insistence that any oversight over her office’s behavior must only be raised after the harm is done, and only within the confines of an election challenge, is absurd," Mazzochi said. "Our motion just wanted the Clerk to follow the law."

She said the lower court determined the lawsuit was not an election challenge.

District 45 includes all or parts of Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs and Westmont, among other towns.


via Elmhurst Patch

November 21, 2022 at 07:19AM

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