Every vote counts!

Hard to believe that August is nearly over and even harder to believe that political ads for the 2010 election are already popping up in the media.  But, our February 2nd primary date looms!

Let me share a story that underscores the importance of every vote that played out this summer.  We are so fortunate in this organization to have so many members demonstrate their dedication to community by running for public office.  One of those REALTOR® members, David Levin of the Quad City Area REALTOR® Association, was a candidate this past April for Mayor of Rock Island.

David narrowly lost by 13 votes to Dennis Pauley who was sworn in early May.  However, David successfully sought a recount which was granted by the court in early June and conducted by the county clerk.  After the recount the race was declared a tie in a July 8th ruling of the Circuit Court of the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.  The order noted that “the recount confirmed that the integrity of the election was sound; the initial counting of the ballots Election Day was not.”

Applying established Illinois law to the recounted ballots, this election has ended in a tie with both candidates receiving 3,047 votes each.  Illinois’ election law mandates that the winner in a tied election is to be decided by lot, “in such manner as the court shall direct”.

In his ruling, the judge was very deliberative regarding the manner that this should be done.  His decision contemplated a coin toss with these words:

“After practicing flipping a coin in chambers and letting it hit the thin carpeting on the floor which is identical in the courtroom, it became apparent the coin would occasionally bounce or roll leaving this Court with unpleasant visions of someone chasing a rolling coin around the courtroom. This Court thought about having someone catch the coin, but what if the coin is dropped?  The Court therefore declined to use a coin toss to break this tie.”

The judge ultimately directed that the winner would be determined by drawing out an envelope with the name of the candidate.  The drawing was on the morning of July 15th with the end result of Dennis Pauley being declared the victor.  While the outcome was not as hoped David showed great resolve!

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About Julie Sullivan

Julie Sullivan is Director of Legislative and Political Affairs for Illinois REALTORS®. She assists in carrying out the legislative programs and policies of the Association, monitors and provides research and analysis on local, state, and federal legislation impacting the real estate industry, and represents the Association before the General Assembly, other elected officials, and other interest groups. She also prepares and coordinates materials related to the election of candidates for public office. Sullivan writes and edits State Capitol Report, the legislative newsletter of the Association, and contributes to the Illinois REALTOR® Magazine on governmental affairs issues. She also advises and provides staff support to the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group, the Realtors® Political Action Committee and various task forces and working groups which are appointed from time to time.

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