Hundreds of provisional ballots were added to the vote count Tuesday, but the outcome remained the same as election night: Mike Turk and Jan Quillman will be returning to their at-large Joliet City Council seats, Don Fisher will not.
The final tally added 366 votes to Fisher's numbers from April 9, giving him a total of 5,078 votes, according to Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots, who oversaw the counting of the ballots that could not be verified on election day or came in by mail after the vote.
However, Turk received an additional 383 votes, Quillman an additional 403 and council newcomer Jim McFarland an additional 598. Those numbers, when combined with the ballots counted on election night in Will and Kendall counties, put the totals at 6,519 for McFarland, 5,175 for Quillman and 5,147 for Turk.
Turk was the only candidate on hand to watch the vote count, which was held at the Will County Building.
He said he was pleased with the outcome of a race during which he worked harder than he had in previous bids for re-election. Turk is currently the longest-serving council member, having first been elected in 1987.
"I'm please to be able to serve for the next four years," he said after the vote totals were announced. "There are going to be a lot of interesting things coming up in the next couple of years."
Turk acknowledged that all of the incumbents had to face an anti-incumbent bias, and that people's opinions on whether the city should welcome the construction of an immigrant detention center played a role. McFarland was the only candidate to come out in opposition to the concept, which has not been formally proposed to the city but has spurred public forums and rallies by those opposed to its construction here.
Turk said he does not regret the position he's taken on the issue, which is to wait-and-see what ends up being proposed before making a decision.
"I'm still open minded on it," he said. "I won't make a decision until all of the facts are in."
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