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Friday, 23 March 2012 00:00

13th District still too close to call

Written by  Cody Bozarth | My Journal Courier

The race for a U.S. representative for Greene and Macoupin counties has yet to be called with an incredibly narrow margin separating two candidates.

David Gill is the apparent winner in the Democratic race for the U.S. Congress 13th District, defeating Greene County State’s Attorney Matt Goetten.

Gill received 15,507 votes — 143 more than Goetten — with all precincts reporting.

But because it will be weeks before numbers are certified, Goetten is not conceding and is waiting for an official total before the primary is settled.

Responding to a declaration of victory from Gill, Goetten says the race is too close.

“I am humbled by the strength of the grassroots campaign we built together, and I believe we must wait until all votes are counted before declaring victory in this race,” Goetten said in a prepared statement.

Issues delayed Macoupin County votes from being totaled until nearly 5 a.m. Wednesday, but after they were Gill claimed victory and began to set his sights on the November election.

In the general election, Gill would face challenge from U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, who took 69 percent of the vote against Frank Metzger and Michael Firsching.

Before the final precincts in Macoupin County were reported, Gill issued a statement questioning if the count conducted there was being done reliably and accurately.

Responding to those questions, County Clerk Pete Duncan said a few precincts were re-counted by experienced Democrat and Republican election judges.

Overseeing the count were two representatives from the State Board of Elections, a Macoupin County Assistant State’s Attorney, the Democrat and Republican County Chairmen, candidates or their representatives in contested races, members of the media and members of the general public.

“It took us a long time, but we’re confident everyone’s vote got counted,” Duncan said. “That’s what we were concerned with, not getting done quickly.”

Printed ballots in Macoupin County as well as other counties in the state were too large to fit in tabulators. Duncan said the county resolved the issue by removing less than one-eighth of an inch of paper from one side of the ballot.

Johnson currently represents the 15th District, which covers much of east-central Illinois.

After redistricting, he was cut out most of his existing district and drawn into a new area that stretches west, adding most of Springfield and all of Macoupin and Greene counties.

Link to original article from My Journal Courier

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