JOLIET — Mike Kelley will be the next Will County Sheriff.
A final vote count was done Tuesday at the Will County Clerk's office with Kelley, a Democrat who is a sergeant in the sheriff's investigative division, gaining an edge over Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas, the Republican.
Kelley had a 471-vote edge in the final count, erasing a lead that Kaupas held at the end of election night before provisional votes and late-arriving absentee ballots were counted.
In the final count, Kelley had 95,627 votes and Kaupas had 95,156.
It took until the final vote count to know who the sheriff would be because the totals from the Nov. 4 election were so close. The day after the election, only 170 votes separated the two candidates — and all of the ballots hadn't been counted yet.
For the first time, voters could register and vote all the way up through Election Day. None of those votes from Nov. 3 and 4 were counted in Election Day totals, and there were at least 720 of them, according to the Will County Clerk’s office.