PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — With hundreds of mail-in ballots left to count, three school board races in Peoria County are still too close to call, according to the Peoria County Election Commission.
Elizabeth Gannon, executive director of Peoria County Election Commission, said school board races in Peoria, Dunlap and Illini Bluffs are neck and neck, but election judges still have to count more than 630 mail-in ballots.
“So there’s a handful out there that could potentially be turned in the coming weeks here,” she said.
In the PPS District 150 School Board race, just 32 votes separate incumbent Martha Ross from challenger Keisha Alexander.
“I’m excited because, there’s still a lot of votes out the mail-in ballots. So there’s still a chance for me to win,” said Alexander.
Alexander’s candidacy was initially challenged in court, but she said the ordeal ended up helping instead of hurting her campaign.
“My name was not going to be added to the ballot until we went to court. But then that allowed me to be in the spotlight I would not have been in had I not been through that. So it seemed like it was something that was a negative for the campaign, but it turned out to be a positive. So I’m kind of glad it happened,” said Alexander.
Alexander said it was exciting to see her name on the ballot.
“It was kind of surreal cause I’m looking at my name, thinking, wow, that’s that’s me on there,” she said.
Gannon said voter turnout was about 15 percent; it’s low but expected.
“It’s underwhelming but on course, if that makes sense. It’s sad, I think, that our turnout doesn’t even hit 20 percent in these odd-year elections, but historically that’s usually right where we are in these elections,” she said.
Alexander said she is on the edge of her seat waiting for those final results.
“If I’m elected, I’m going to be really excited about moving forward and making some of the changes that I’d like to try to make,” she said.
Election results will be certified on April 18. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within two weeks to count, Gannon said.
“Hold tight, I promise we’ll get those results to you. But there is a process here and we have to make sure we’re crossing every T and dotting our I’s, and following the law,” she said.
WMBD reached out to Martha Ross but has not heard back.