State’s Attorney Primary Gets Even Tighter as Vote Count Error is Revealed

The Cook County State’s Attorney primary is still too close to call. In fact, the gap between the two Democratic candidates, Eileen O’Neill Burke and Clayton Harris III has gotten even tighter. 

Moreover, the Chicago Board of Elections has admitted to an error, stating that vote-by-mail ballots that were delivered on Monday, March 18 were left out of the count.

The board is now working to add more than 10,000 mail-in votes to its total count, and it has met with attorneys for the campaigns of O’Neill Burke and Harris. The Board of Elections stated that all parties agreed to ballot counting and ballot signature verification to resume on Sunday with poll watchers present for every step of the process. 

Those developments have helped delay the outcome of a race where Harris has significantly closed the gap on O’Neill Burke, whose lead has shrunk to just over 2,000 votes.

O’Neill Burke has 259,445 votes, and Harris has 257,430 votes, reported ABC 7 Chicago. 

Chicago Board of Elections Public Information Officer Max Bever released a statement regarding the mail-in votes that were left out: 

“I made an error in reporting the number of Vote By Mail ballots received back on Monday, March 18 before Election Day that should have been included in the ‘received by Election Day’ numbers.

Previously, I reported that 66,399 Vote By Mail ballots were received back and scanned for signature verification by the end of Monday, March 18. I initially reported that 7,009 VBM ballots received back via USPS on Election Day, 3/19/24. This number was incorrect – I only reported on the Vote By Mail ballots received back on Election Day only. 

Approximately 9,143 Vote By Mail additional ballots received back on Monday should have been included in this ‘received by Election Day’ number that would be processed and counted after Election Day, March 19.

These Vote By Mail ballots received back Monday, March 18, through Tuesday, March 19, were secured in a receiving cage at 69 W. Washington until they could be run through the Agilis scanning machine for purposes including verifying that those voters had not cast ballots during Early Voting or on Election Day, and to prepare signature specimens for verification. These ballots were inspected, processed and counted by election judges on Friday, March 22, through Saturday, March 23, and are already reflected in the unofficial results at ChicagoElections.Gov.”

ABC 7 Chicago contributed to this report. 

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