UPTOWN — After completing a discovery recount, 46th Ward challenger Marianne Lalonde is withdrawing her recount push, effectively conceding the election to Ald. James Cappleman (46th) five weeks after the April 2 runoff election.
Cappleman won the election by just 25 votes in one of the closest contests of the election election cycle.
Lalonde said she would be withdrawing her complaint as of 4 p.m. Tuesday. Although her withdrawal ends any doubt about who will be the 46th Ward alderman for the next four years, Lalonde is not officially conceding — instead, her campaign has said they have no further legal action to pursue.
“In an assessment of 25 percent of the precincts, we were able to reduce the gap in votes between James Cappleman and me, but not find a sufficient number of votes to overturn the entire election,” she said. “Our assessment is that the law currently allows no further viable remedy. So I will be withdrawing my complaint.”
Chicago Board of Elections spokesperson Jim Allen confirmed that Lalonde withdrew her challenge, meaning the election is a done deal.
Cappleman tweeted that he looks forward to the next four year.
“Now that the 46th Ward election is settled, I look forward to 4 more years of advocating for all residents and working together as a community,” he wrote.
Although Lalonde’s campaign determined there was no legal recourse for them to move forward with a legal complaint, they believe the recount process needs some serious improvements.
“Given the level of error in the recount we have seen so far, and the limits on the number of precincts we were able to recount, we may never be able to know the true winner of this election,” she said.
Lalonde said that although she is not pursuing further legal action, she hoped the board would continue investigating voting discrepancies in the 46th Ward in order to improve the process in future elections.
“[The board of elections] has been extremely helpful in exploring sources of error as we diligently counted every type of vote over the last few weeks,” she said. “Our current system has room for improvement and reliability, and I am optimistic that our experience in discovery recount will result in more robust policies moving forward.”
Lalonde did say her campaign found plenty of discrepancies during the discovery recount. They found a difference between the total number of votes counted and the number of voting applications.
After a tough re-election campaign, it will be up to Cappleman to unite a divided 46th ward.
“Our ward, which has managed to balance precariously on the fulcrum of change for decades, is the most divided it has ever been,” Lalonde said. “We are at a crossroads of values, and tensions are high. Now more than ever, we need to build bridges between different groups within our community. I hope my opponent is up for the challenge.”