Bates lands spot on Aurora 4th Ward ballot
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com March 12, 2013 5:58PM
Angie Greviskes (left), 9th Ward candidate Mavis Bates (red), 9th Ward candidate Matt Harrington and 4th Ward candidate Jay Leonardi (right)watch an official count of absentee ballots on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Aurora Election Commission. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 14, 2013 6:29AM
AURORA — With last-minute ballots now counted, Mavis Bates will officially be on the April 9 ballot for Aurora’s 4th Ward.
Bates led candidate Jay Leonardi by eight votes in the Feb. 26 primary election, but more than two dozen absentee and provisional ballots still were out.
After an Aurora Election Commission count Tuesday, Bates took the ballot spot by seven votes. The count of an additional 10 absentee ballots and 16 provisional ballots led to Bates and Leonardi each picking up a few more votes.
By final Aurora Election Commission numbers, Bates topped Leonardi 204 to 197 votes. On the April 9 ballot with Bates will be top vote-getter Bill Donnell, who received 247 votes.
The Election Commissioners counted the outstanding ballots Tuesday at the commission offices. They announced the results in a 5 p.m. meeting.
Bates said Tuesday’s outcome left her relieved.
“I’m very happy and will not dwell on the primary,” Bates said. “I’m all set to move on and campaign.”
Up until Tuesday, it was believed that 54 ballots — 38 absentee and 16 provisional — remained uncounted jurisdiction wide. But Election Commission Executive Director Linda Fechner warned it was possible that a large portion of those votes were never sent in or would be disqualified for other reasons.
Last week, Leonardi said that if he was within the 5 percent that the law allows, he will petition the Election Commission for a ballot recount.
But on Tuesday, Leonardi said he would consider his next move.
“I’m going to take some time to think about [a recount] but I’ll have a decision very soon,” Leonardi said.
According to Fechner, Leonardi would have five days after March 19 to petition for a recount. She said 25 percent of ballots cast at two 4th Ward precincts would be recounted.