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Recount Completed In Contested Macon County Sheriff’s Election

A manual recount of ballots has been completed in the 2018 Macon County Sheriff’s election, where the initial tally showed a one-vote margin between the winner and loser.

Champaign County Circuit Judge Anna Benjamin ordered the recount, after the Republican candidate, Jim Root, contested his loss to Democrat Tony Brown, 19,655 to 19,654. Both candidates were lieutenants in the Macon County Sheriff’s Department. Root continues to hold that position, while Brown is now serving as Macon County Sheriff.

Macon County Clerk Joshua Tanner released his report on Friday. He supervised the two-week recount, which used election judges and poll-watchers from both parties.

“This is only a report to the Court and does not change the outcome of the 2018 General Election,” noted Tanner in a news release.

The total number of uncontested ballots is larger than what was reported on election night: 37,946, compared to 36,309. The tally still shows Brown slightly ahead, this time by eighteen votes, 18,982 to 18,964.

But the election’s outcome could be decided by 1,337 contested ballots, where the voter’s intention is up for debate. The status of these will be determined in court.

Tanner will send his report to Judge Benjamin, who is expected to schedule a status hearing in the case to determine what the next steps will be for Root and Brown.

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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