Runner-up requests recount in Herrin Mayor race


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

MARION, Ill. - Illinois voters went to the polls a little more than a month ago, but the city of Herrin just wrapped up election day on Tuesday.

The initial vote tally showed Steve Frattini losing the Mayoral race to incumbent Vic Ritter by a very small margin.

The margin was so small that Frattini requested a recount.

That recount is now complete and produced the same results; it shows Ritter won by a few votes.

County Clerk, Amanda Barnes, called out the names of the candidates one by one as tally marks were made.

"He wanted to look at the ballot application, ballot affidavits and the ballots themselves," said Barnes.

Frattini and Ritter knew it would be a close race, so they made an agreement.

"That close of a race, one or the others, whoever is behind at the time will be asking for a recount," said Frattini.

Frattini says Ritter won by three votes.

He says that small of a margin could mean human error or what he calls "oops votes," but he was also unsatisfied with something else.

"The conduct of the polling places," said Frattini.

The process of the recount was methodical.

The ballots for each district are stored in blue containers that are locked away in vaults in the courthouse.

Every time the ballots were brought out to the table to be counted, everyone involved in the recount had to actually verify that these cases had been sealed.

By law you can only recount 25% of the votes; a pre-determined number of precincts.

"Four is all he could request," said Barnes.

Frattini hoped the recount would reveal different results, but regardless, he says he has been blown away by the community support he has received.

"Without that type and level of support, I probably would not have ran to begin with," said Frattini.

Frattini is a member of the Herrin City Council and will continue to serve in that role for the next two years.

Nothing will actually be made official until 60 days after the original election, which was about a month ago.

During the remaining days, Frattini can decide to take this recount further and bring the issue to a court.