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Vickrey Overtakes Smith by 6 Votes, But Race is Far From Over

By  Paul Biasco and Linze Rice | April 8, 2015 11:44am | Updated on April 8, 2015 3:49pm

 Poll watchers keep an eye on election judges counting ballots from the last two 43rd Ward precincts Wednesday afternoon.
Poll watchers keep an eye on election judges counting ballots from the last two 43rd Ward precincts Wednesday afternoon.
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Linze Rice

LINCOLN PARK — The 43rd Ward was still without a winner Wednesday and it appears the contest will be drawn out for weeks.

Challenger Caroline Vickrey has taken a 6 vote lead in the race following a recount of two precincts Wednesday afternoon.

Incumbent Michele Smith held a 98-vote lead overnight, but the race swung in Vickrey's favor late Wednesday.

The precincts, the 6th and 41st, each experienced a transmission glitch Tuesday night, according to James Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

The Board of Elections counted the 41st precinct Wednesday afternoon and Vickrey received 141 votes to Smith's 85. Those totals did not include early voting, and the new numbers posted on the Board of Election Commission's data portal Wednesday evening gave Vickrey the lead.

"We are always going to have some precincts that for whatever reason, don't transmit," Allen said.

As of Wednesday evening with all precincts reporting, unofficial vote totals gave Vickrey 6,791 votes to Smith's 6,785.

A total of 13,576 ballots have been counted, but it is possible the lead could change once all the absentee and provisional ballots are included.

Allen said the electronic polls used by voters date back to 2005, and new, more upgraded equipment should be available by the next election. 

It could be weeks until the election is decided as both sides await absentee ballots and the results of provisional ballots.

The turnout was significantly larger than the February election, which totaled 10,306 votes cast.

It is likely the race will be drawn out until April 23 at the latest to include mailed-in ballots.

Vickrey's campaign issued a statement Wednesday that they will not comment until every vote is counted.

April 21 is the last date a mailed-in ballot can arrive and be added to the count if it is postmarked April 6 or earlier.

The board is also awaiting provisional ballots that were cast either in early voting or on election day. Provisional voters have the option of submitting identification or other documents to support their claim of eligibility through April 14.

The Board of Elections won't begin its determinations of provisional ballots until after April 14.

The Board of Elections will issue the official proclamation of results one or two days after April 21.

DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

Paul Biasco says it could be some time before we know the winner:

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