Chicago vote count drawing to a close
Election results are nearly final more than a week after voting ended.
Driving the news: The Chicago Board of Elections has counted most of the vote-by-mail ballots it has received that were postmarked by Election Day.
- Yes, but: They will not formalize the results until March 15. And they will still count any eligible ballots that come in.
Why it matters: This latest batch gives us a fairly clear picture of which alderpeople will win outright and which will face a runoff on April 4.
45th Ward: The Northwest Side ward has been waiting patiently to see whether embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner wins over 50% of the vote.
- Gardiner has teetered within a percentage point of victory for days. But mail-in ballots have now dropped him to 48%.
- Barring a rush of late eligible ballots, he will face lawyer Megan Mathias in a runoff.
1st Ward: On election night, incumbent Ald. Daniel La Spata looked like he would face a runoff against Sam Royko.
- But mail-in ballots have pushed the Democratic Socialist up over 50%.
- The board says 82 ballots remain uncounted in his ward and La Spata would need a third of those to win the election outright.
What he's saying: "This race proves the importance of every vote," Ald. La Spata tells Axios.
The other side: Royko is not conceding yet. He tells Axios "every vote matters."
29th Ward: Incumbent Ald. Chris Taliaferro has watched his 51% lead shrink since election night.
- Now, he stands at 50.38%, with only 20 votes left to count in his ward. Even if he loses all of those votes, he'd still avoid a runoff.
Of note: The board says there are still 43,269 unreturned mail-in ballots and they will accept any postmarked by February 28th.
What's next: The board will certify the election results next Wednesday.
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