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Palos Township may not pull the switch

  • Written by Jack Murray

Referendum unofficially loses by just one vote

By a margin of a single vote, voters who live in unincorporated Palos Township defeated the electrical aggregation referendum on Tuesday’s Illinois primary election ballot —473 No votes to 472 Yes votes, or 50.05 percent to 49.95 percent.
Those are unofficial vote tallies reported on election night by the Cook County Clerk’s Office. The official canvas of vote totals is conducted at a later date.
Palos Township Supervisor Colleen Schumann, who had supported passage of the referendum, agreed that it was stunning that it should be defeated by only one vote.
“It’s so surprising, too, because it was predicted to result in savings of 8 to 9 percent” on residents’ electricity bills, she said when reached for comment on election night.
Voters in Palos Park, Palos Heights and Orland Park handily passed municipal electrical aggregation referendums that appeared on the ballots in those suburbs in the 2012 March primary election two years ago. Officials of those towns have all reported savings on residents’ utility bills since making the switch from ComEd to other power suppliers.
“I’m disappointed,” Schumann said of the different result in Palos Township in this election. “We could have saved them money.”
Turnout on the ballot question was only 14.23 percent of voters, and Schumann pointed to that as a possible reason for the referendum’s narrow defeat. “If people are not educated on an issue they automatically vote no.”