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WGLT's reporting on the November 2020 election cycle.

Mail-In, Provisional Ballots Push Democrat Laymon Ahead In County Board Race

Jacob Beard and Val Laymon
McLean County/Val Laymon
Val Laymon leads Jacob Beard by 8 votes after mail-in and provisional ballots were counted in their McLean County Board race.

UPDATED 5:10 P.M. | Mail-in and provisional ballots have flipped the results in a closely contested McLean County Board race.

On Tuesday, the Bloomington Election Commission counted outstanding ballots that were received after Nov. 3 but were postmarked by Election Day.

In County Board District 7 (east-central Bloomington), Democratic challenger Val Laymon received 23 additional votes, while Republican incumbent Jacob Beard received 4 votes and Libertarian candidate Darin George Kaeb received 2 votes.

Beard was ahead 11 votes based on ballots that the BEC received by Election Day. The  final tally put Laymon ahead by 8 votes. The commission posted official results on Tuesday afternoon. 

"I certainly hope that this moment lets it be known that absolutely every vote matters," Laymon said.

Laymon said she felt confident mail in ballots would help her erase the 11-vote margin. 

"Knowing that we were focusing on a lot of mail-in votes to be able to come in and swing it in our favor, I felt pretty good about it," Laymon said. 

A victory for Laymon gives Democrats two additional seats on the County Board, trimming the Republicans' margin to 11-9.

Beard, who was present for Tuesday’s vote canvassing, said he hoped the mail-in ballots that arrived later wouldn’t swing as heavily Democratic as the early mail-in votes did.

“We felt the same-day vote, the votes on Election Day, were Republican and with those votes were coming in closer to Election Day based on the postmark, I was hopeful they would break closer to 50-50 but it turned out not to be that way,” Beard said.

Beard said he doesn’t know yet whether he will seek a recount.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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