You Asked: Why Does it Take So Long for Election Results from Mount Pleasant?
There is a running joke in Racine County east of I-94 about elections results taking so long to come in from Mount Pleasant. On June 5, though, tensions were high as residents waited for the final numbers to roll in, and, yes, Mount Pleasant was last.
Emotions run high on a normal election night, but during the June 5 recall election, the jitters about results for the 21st Senate District were particularly bad.
When results from some of the smaller communities like Sturtevant, Norway and Wind Point started rolling in, people started to visibly relax. Still, the joke that kept going around was, well, this is great, but we'll still be here forever because of Mount Pleasant.
And, yes, the last results put into the record at the Racine County Clerk's office were from Peace Lutheran Church in Mount Pleasant, even after all the precincts in the City of Racine.
"Didn't I tell you?" Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) said with a chuckle at Senate-Elect John Lehman's campaign party that night.
The official results of the 21st Senate District recall are expected Tuesday. Only 779 votes separate Lehman from incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard. Lehman claimed victory about 1 a.m. June 6, but Wanggaard has not conceded.
We heard comments in the same vein more than once so we decided to go directly to the source, Mount Pleasant Clerk/Treasurer Veronica Rudychev.
"Basically, it comes down to wanting to be sure every vote is counted," she said. "My chiefs are meticulous, making sure all t's are crossed and all i's are dotted."
Chief poll inspectors at each polling location are responsible for doing what essentially is a triple-check system reconciling that the numbers issued matches how many ballots were cast and matches the number of people who voted.
More seriously, Mason said he wants to know how to help make elections more efficient.
"I am a little vexed about why Mount Pleasant is always last," he said a few days after the election. "Is it a need for more poll workers? What can we do to help make elections more efficient?"
Rudychev said she doesn't need more poll workers, but she could use an assistant chief at each of the village's seven polling locations.
"It would be helpful if we had two chiefs at every location who are trained in everything start-to-finish," she said.
She knows it's frustrating for residents and candidates who want to know election results as soon as possible, but she's not interested in rushing the process.
"I'd rather be last and know it's all correct," Rudychev answered.