BURNHAM — Challenger Antwon Russell has asked for a discovery recount after official results showed him losing the town's mayoral election to incumbent Robert Polk by 13 votes.
Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough released certified results last week showing Polk with 384 votes, or 50.9%, to 371, or 49.1%, for Russell in the April 6 general election.
Russell noted Yarbrough's decision to extend voting for an extra hour at one of the town's polling places, Thornton Township Precinct 99 at Burnham Community Center on Torrence Avenue, because it opened late.
He said some voters who wanted to register and vote on election day were turned away. Russell also said when some judges did not show up, replacements were hired who had ties to the town's current elected officials.
Russell said a date for the recount is expected to be determined by the end of the week.
"They don't have that many votes to recount, it won't take that long," he said.
Russell noted the turnout in Burnham — 26.9% — significantly outpaced that of neighboring towns with contested races. Burnham also had contests for village clerk and trustee.
Other turnout numbers included 8.9% in Lansing, which had four candidates seeking three trustee seats; 13.8% in Dolton, which had a contested mayoral race; and 17% in Glenwood, which had contests for mayor, clerk and trustee.
"I feel very strong about it," Russell said of the recount. "I'm excited at the fact so many Burnham residents came out and voted."
Reached by phone Tuesday, Polk said he was not previously aware of Russell's decision to seek a recount.
"It's not unprecedented for a candidate to do that if you have a close election like this one was," said Polk, who was seeking a fifth term as mayor. "We're pretty confident we'll be OK."
Polk allies won the town's other races. Incumbent Clerk Lus Chavez had 385 votes to 336 for John Hajduch, while Travis Claybrooks (436 votes), Christopher Hodges (416) and John Cap (401) won trustee seats with Jasmyne Peters (322) finishing in fourth place.