The night started with uncertainty among voters and it ended that way as well.
Current Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, D-Ill., kept his supporters anxious. He kept them wondering when he would take the stage to announce his victory or his concession. But they ended up with neither answer though and everyone is still playing the waiting game.
“The people have won,” said the Democratic candidate, “and I believe we have won.”
Still, shortly before 1 a.m. this morning, the race was too close to call. Quinn took the stage anyway with 98 percent of precincts counted. When he came out, Quinn and Brady each had 46 percent of the vote.
All the difference came after the decimal point though. Quinn held a narrow lead of more than 9,100 votes or 0.3 percent of the more than 3.3 million ballots cast.
Almost 600 Quinn supporters flocked downtown to Hotel Alegro last night to watch Quinn deliver the results in person.
“It looks very good because of the votes that are out,” said Robin Kelly, the losing candidate in the race for Illinois Treasurer.
Representative for Illinois’ 3rd District, Greg Harris, said that even though he felt Quinn had won, he hoped the race would be decided quickly so the current governor could get back to work.
“Good for tomorrow, but when the results are finalized, we still have tough decisions to make,” said Harris. “We have a $13 billion budget deficit. We have a Medicaid system that needs to be reformed. We have education to work on. We have to take care of our pensions. The hard work is yet to come.”
Quinn echoed those sentiments when he took the stage.
“I’m here to say we’ve got more to do,” Quinn shouted through the microphone. “We are going to reform Illinois from top to bottom. I want to be a humble governor who’s proud of our people and we’re going to make the will of our people the law of the land.”
When Quinn left the lectern last night, it didn’t take long for supporters to file out. Once the polls closed at 7 p.m., they started congregating at Hotel Alegro. And it was only after spending six hours nervously watching two huge television screens that most of the people there finally headed home to chants of “four more years.”
But the few uncounted votes weigh heavily on the campaign. Jim Allen, spokesperson for the Chicago Board of Election doesn’t know exactly how many votes remain uncounted. Allen did confirm however that 5,000 absentee ballots have not been tallied and the Chicago BOE is checking those ballots against signed affidavits to make sure some votes aren’t double counted.
So while 99 percent of the vote is in, the last one percent could still determine the winner of this election.