Judges begin review of post-election mail-in ballots in Adams County

JUDGES

Election judges Michelle Reed, Barb Frese and Bill Anderson review ballots Thursday afternoon in the Adams County Clerk's office.

QUINCY — No chads are hanging, no Brooks Brothers are rioting and the Supreme Court won’t get involved (we hope).

The Adams County Clerk’s office began Thursday the process of sorting out the votes still arriving via the U.S. Mail, as long as they have been postmarked by Election Day, April 4.

Three election judges — Republicans Barb Frese and Michelle Reed and Democrat Bill Anderson — reviewed the 23 ballots that have arrived during the last two days. That includes comparing signatures and reviewing addresses.

The reason for the extra interest this year is the tie in Quincy’s 7th Ward aldermanic race between incumbent Democrat Ben Uzelac and Republican challenger Tim Siemer. Each man had 205 votes when the counting ended Tuesday night. Thirteen write-in votes were counted for Brennan Hills.

Adams County Clerk Ryan Niekamp said 974 ballots countywide were outstanding, and 57 of those ballots involve residents of the 7th Ward. Two of the 23 ballots counted on Thursday were from the 7th Ward.

Election judges rejected one ballot due to a questionable signature. However, that ballot was from Honey Creek Township, so it didn’t impact the 7th Ward race.

The process Thursday took about 30 minutes. Niekamp said another such counting will be completed Wednesday, April 12, and one more will happen April 18, the final day ballots can arrive via mail.

Then we’ll know who won the 7th Ward aldermanic race.

Maybe.

If the two men are still tied come April 18, the race will be decided by a lottery drawing.

From left, election judge Michelle Reed, election judge Barb Frese, Chief Deputy County Clerk Christa Holtman, County Clerk Ryan Niekamp and election judge Bill Anderson prepare to review ballots in the clerk’s office on Thursday. | Photo by J. Robert Gough

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