A petition under this Section shall be filed with the election authority
for purposes of
discovery only. The petition shall ask that ballots, voting machines,
or ballot cards - as the case may be - shall be examined, that any
automatic tabulating equipment shall be tested, and that ballots,
recorded votes, or ballot cards - as the case may be - shall be counted
in specified precincts, not exceeding 25% of the
total number of precincts within the jurisdiction
of the election authority. Where there are fewer than 4 precincts under
the jurisdiction of the election authority and within the area in which
votes could be cast
in the election in connection with which the petition has been filed,
discovery shall be permitted in one of such precincts.
A petition filed under this Section shall be accompanied by the
payment of a fee of $50 per precinct specified.
All such fees shall be paid by the election authority into the county or city
treasury, as the case may be.
After 3 days notice in writing to the successful candidate for the
same office or, in the case of a question of public policy, such
notice as will reasonably inform interested persons of the time and
place of the discovery proceedings, the election authority shall examine the
ballots, voting machines, ballot cards, voter affidavits and applications
for ballot, test the automatic
tabulating equipment, and count the ballots, recorded votes, and ballot
cards in the specified election districts or precincts. At the request
of any candidate entitled to participate in the discovery proceedings, the
election authority shall also make available for examination the ballot
applications and voter affidavits for the specified precincts. Each candidate
affected by such examination shall have the right to attend the same in
person or by his representative. In the case of a question of public
policy, the board shall permit an equal number of acknowledged
proponents and acknowledged opponents to attend the examination.
On completion of the count of any ballots in each district or
precinct, the ballots shall be secured and sealed in the same manner
required of judges of election by Sections 7-54 and 17-20 of the Election Code.
The handling of the ballots in accord with this Section shall not of
itself affect the admissibility in evidence of the ballots in any other
proceedings, either legislative or judicial.
The results of the examination and count shall not be certified, used
to amend or change the abstracts of the votes previously completed, used
to deny the successful candidate for the same office his certificate of
nomination or election, nor used to change the previously declared result of the vote
on a question of public policy. Such count shall not be binding in an
election contest brought about under the provisions of the Election
Code, shall not be a prerequisite to bringing such an election contest,
shall not prevent the bringing of such an election contest, nor shall it
affect the results of the canvass previously proclaimed.
(Source: P.A. 103-467, eff. 8-4-23.)