New Ballot Count Gives Mell Wider Lead in Aldermanic Race - NBC Chicago
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New Ballot Count Gives Mell Wider Lead in Aldermanic Race

Tim Meegan earlier this month filed paperwork demanding a recount in 33rd Ward race

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    Deb Mell takes the oath of office to join the Chicago City Council, taking over for her father, Dick Mell, on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

    Ald. Deb Mell widened her lead against her nearest challenger in an updated ballot count, making it more likely she'll officially be able to abandon her runoff campaign.

    "Unofficial" ballots numbers released Tuesday showed the 33rd Ward incumbent with 4,103 votes compared to Tim Meegan's 2,779 votes. That's a far wider margin than the mere two more votes she had at the end of last month.

    The official results will be announced on Thursday.

    The new total includes all absentee and provisional ballots the Cook County Board of Election Commissioners received through Monday. No additional ballots arrived Tuesday, Communications Director James Allen said in an email.

    Meegan, a Chicago Public Schools teacher, filed legal paperwork earlier this month challenging the count, claiming "machine dirty tricks." He's seeking a recount before the runoff election.

    If Mell's lead holds, it would mean that just 18 wards will be decided on April 7 instead of the initial 19 that were believed to be in question.

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