Unusual mayoral election in Kewanee costs Henry County at least $20,000 extra

KEWANEE, Illinois — An unusual consolidated primary election for the mayor of Kewanee is costing county taxpayers at least $20,000 more than usual, Barb Link, Henry County clerk and voting authority, said.

Most elections in the county only require one election because there aren’t that many people running, Link said. That changed for Kewanee’s mayoral race when Mike Yaklich announced he would be running as a write-in candidate.

“The way the law reads… a write-in is still considered a candidate,” Link said. “A write-in candidate’s name does not appear on the ballot, so that’s the crazy part about all this.”

When asked if this is common, she said, “Henry County itself, we don’t see them very often.”

Link said the extra costs are budgeted for and go into setting up and administering the election.

“I know that there’s the possibility of a primary, so I go ahead and budget in case we do have one,” Link said. “If I have to use it, it’s there, if I don’t, it goes back into our general fund”

The department’s website states it is in charge of “training deputy registrars, election judges, providing polling places for all precincts, and publishing the Voter’s Information Guide.”

News 8 tried to contact Yaklich twice, but he did not respond.

The election results, though not considered official through the Henry County Elections Department, is listed on Henry County’s website. Here are the results.

  • Gary Moore – 547
  • Write-in (Mike Yaklich) – 290
  • Steve Faber – 285
  • Robert Kuntz – 87
  • Steve Lemanski – 76

Only 16 percent of registered voters (1,293 ) participated in the consolidated primary. There are 7,848 registered voters in Henry County, according to the website.

Link said all the votes have been counted. The official results could be posted as soon as Friday.

The top two candidates will move on to the consolidated election.

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