News Local/State

Frerichs Surges Over Cross In Late Vote Counts


The race for Illinois treasurer changed course quickly Tuesday as late votes counted in several suburban counties showed a surge for Democrat Mike Frerichs.

Frerichs took a lead of over 9,000 votes against Republican Tom Cross after posting large leads in suburban Cook County and other collar counties. Until yesterday, Cross had held a small lead -- about 500 votes -- making it the closest statewide race in history.

Frerichs' campaign spokesman, Dave Clarkin, says the mood in the Frerichs camp changed dramatically as vote counts rolled in yesterday.

"We've believed all along that Mike would run very strong in downstate Illinois and if that trend continued in downstate and the suburbs that we would lead coming out of the state by more than 1,000 votes."

Now that the race is no longer poised to be the closest statewide contest in Illinois history, Clarkin says calls for a recount would be futile.

"Although there's been talk of a recount over the last few weeks, people we've talked to on both sides of the aisle have said a recount would be frivolous if the margin was over a thousand votes," he said.

But if that were to happen, Illinois State Board of Elections Director Rupert Borgsmiller says it's a lengthy process. A campaign would have to petition the Illinois Supreme Court to rule on a recount, with a fee of $10,000. And even then, it's not a statewide recount; the campaign must point out what specific areas they want recounted based on proof of voting irregularities.

"The Supreme Court would get involved in whether or not the petition is sufficient," he said. "They would direct, then, the circuit court in the jurisdiction that would be recounted to be responsible for conducting the recount."

A spokesman for the Cross campaign did not immediately answer requests for comment.