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Montelongo campaign claims irregularities in ballot counting

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- The Jim Montelongo campaign sent a letter to the Peoria County Election Commission Monday alleging vote counting irregularities following last week's Peoria mayoral election.

The letter, sent by a Peoria law firm, takes issue with procedures used to count some mail-in ballots. It says the Election Commission failed to seal mail-in ballots inside "carrier envelopes" required by Illinois statutes.

The first page of a four-page letter sent to the Peoria County Election Commission Monday

Montelongo led by around 70 votes at the end of Election Night. However, that flipped two days later when more mail-in ballots were counted Thursday and Rita Ali took the lead. Ali currently leads by 35 votes.

The Election Commission is scheduled to count new ballots again tomorrow, but Executive Director Tom Bride says they haven't received any new mail-in ballots yet.

The Election Commission says there were no irregularities in counting ballots, and they did nothing wrong.

"We are in compliance with election laws and the state board of election’s protocols," a statement from Bride read. "We are using the same process we have used in every other election for the last several years."

The statement adds sealed ballots were kept in a locked room and opened by a bipartisan group of election judges.

The final day for counting mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day is next Tuesday.

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Alex Gaul

Alex Gaul joined WEEK 25 News and Heart of Illinois ABC in January 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist. He formerly worked for KPNX-TV and KAET-TV, both in Phoenix, Arizona. The Illinois-native is an alum of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

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