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Cook County officials are expected to start the adjudication process for counting write-in ballots on Feb. 25. The outcome will likely determine which of six write-in candidates will challenge Stephanie Mendoza in the April 6 General Election for City Clerk.

Ms. Mendoza, the only candidate among the six who was on the official ballot in the Feb. 23 primary election, garnered 6,892 or 75.42% of the total 9,134 votes cast, assuring her place on the April 6 general election ballot.

Cynthia Beebe, Eduardo Gomez, Adedapo Odusanya,  Jackson Paller, Darrell Patterson, and Misty Witenberg, the six write-in candidates, shared the 2,242 write-in votes.

Of that group, Ms. Beebe, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Paller, and Ms. Witenberg were active during the election campaign, taking part in the various candidate forums.

Write-in votes also have to be tabulated for the Fourth and Eighth Ward aldermanic races.

In the Fourth Ward, Patricia Connolly and Sari Kadison-Shapiro ran as write-in candidates.

In the Eighth Ward, Shelley Ann Carrillo Joshua C. Hall and Christine Leone were listed on the County’s list of write-in candidates though only Ms. Carrillo was active during the campaign.

Meanwhile, mail-in ballots will continue to be added to the vote total for the next two weeks, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day, Feb. 23, said a Cook County Clerk spokesperson.

The Clerk’s office reported that 4,507 mail ballots were requested by voters, with 2,431 returned.

The mail ballots could have a bearing in the Fourth and Eighth Ward aldermanic races, where longtime incumbents Donald Wilson and Ann Rainey are facing steep challenges and appear to have been successfully defeated by newcomers.

In the centrally located Fourth Ward, newcomers Jonathan Nieuwsma (476 votes) and Diane Goldring (404 votes) are in the lead to advance to the General Election, according to the current totals posted on the County Clerk’s election site. Ald. Wilson, one of the leaders of the Council’s majority bloc, is running third with 360 votes.

In the southeast Eighth Ward, Devon Reid, currently serving as Evanston’s City Clerk, leads with 404 votes in the aldermanic race. Ridgeville Park Commissioner Matthew Mitchell is currently in second with 315 votes.
Ann Rainey, the senior alderman on City Council, is trailing Mr. Mitchell by 28 votes to make the runoff.

Bob Seidenberg

Bob Seidenberg is an award-winning reporter covering issues in Evanston for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

One reply on “Tallying Write-Ins for City Clerk Race to Begin”

  1. Please explain why Stephanie Mendoza, who received 75% of the vote for City Clerk, will have to be in run off election with the highest vote getter amongst the write-in candidates, while Dan Biss, who received 73% of the vote for Mayor is the elected Mayor and does not have to participate in a runoff. It would seem that Ms. Mendoza should also have been deemed elected by virtue of her vote total.

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