Karmeier wins retention to Illinois Supreme Court

By Ann Maher | Nov 4, 2014


Justice Lloyd Karmeier appears to have survived a battle for retention to the Illinois Supreme Court by a very slim margin.

According to vote totals in all 37 counties of the Fifth Judicial District, Karmeier received 60.71 percent voter approval. He needed 60 percent to be retained.

He received 223,154 yes votes to 144,424 no votes.

Karmeier's campaign manager Ron Deedrick said the campaign is "confident" in its success.

"Justice Karmeier has been retained and he is thankful for the voters of the Fifth Judicial District for sending him back to Springfield to be their southern Illinois voice at the state Supreme Court," Deedrick said. "The numbers are close, but the 60 percent threshold has been achieved and we are cautiously optimistic that the numbers may continue to edge up."

Voters in St. Clair County played a big role in securing Karmeier's win. Vote totals published by the St. Clair County Clerk show Karmeier received a 63.46 percent affirmative vote.

Figures published by the East St. Louis Board of Elections show a 62.21 percent yes vote.

Combined, Karmeier secured 63.3 percent in St. Clair County, or 45,160 yes votes to 26,167 no votes.

It was a different story in Madison County, where Karmeier notched a 57.7 percent margin, or 42,406 yes votes to 31,304 no votes.

Yet to be counted are provisional ballots, which are provisional for a variety of reasons, including overseas military ballots and ballots cast by voters who registered on election day. There were 247 provisional votes cast in St. Clair County Tuesday. There also remains provisional ballots coming forth from precincts.

A St. Clair County election worker said the Clerk's office would know the number of provisional ballots from precincts by the end of Wednesday.

Karmeier was attacked late in the season with a $2 million negative ad campaign funded by attorneys who were on the losing end of decisions overturned at the Illinois Supreme Court in 2005.

The ads alleged that Karmeier voted to reverse judgments against State Farm and Philip Morris after the companies supported his election in 2004.

The lawyers supporting the anti-retention effort stand to gain billions in attorneys’ fees if those judgments are restored.

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