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Local News

Underwood says recount won't change results of her reelection

She leads Oberweis by about 5,300 votes with mail-in ballots

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, speaks to the media and school staff Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, after touring Liberty Elementary School in Bolingbrook, Ill.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, speaks to the media and school staff Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, after touring Liberty Elementary School in Bolingbrook, Ill.

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After declaring victory in her reelection bid, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood chided her opponent, State Sen. Jim Oberweis, who had already declared himself the winner even though thousands of mail-in votes still needed to be counted after Election Day.

After mail-in votes were counted, Underwood, D-Naperville, pulled ahead of Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, and was eventually projected the winner.

Oberweis has since said he will seek "legal avenues" to recount the ballots.

"Mr. Oberweis falsely declared victory with more than 20,000 votes outstanding," Andra Belknap, a spokeswoman for Underwood's campaign, said in a statement. "Now that he's officially lost, he wants a recount."

Out of about 400,000 votes from Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, DuPage and Will counties, Underwood leads Oberweis by about 5,300 votes, a difference of 1.3% of the vote.

Oberweis made his case for a recount, pointing to how close the margin was.

"In a race this close, we need to be certain the final vote count is correct," he said in a statement. "A discovery recount does not change a single vote, but it does allow us to see if the outcome might change with a full recount."

He added that the "robust" turnout was a "clear indication of the tremendous interest in this race."

Republicans have targeted Underwood after she unseated the incumbent GOP representative in 2018.

Still, her campaign said, "Regardless of Mr. Oberweis' bluster, the results in this race will remain the same: this community voted in historic numbers to reelect Congresswoman Lauren Underwood."

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