With Homewood and Flossmoor residents eager to see the results of several competitive and highly anticipated races, the Cook County Clerk's office drew out the suspense Tuesday night.
Unofficial election results, which usually begin to appear soon after the polls close, did not begin to appear on the clerk's website until almost 9:50 p.m.
Part of the delay was attributed to extensions granted to 30 precincts because of delays opening in the morning. Shortly before 7 p.m., County Clerk Karen Yarbrough announced that the precincts — none in Homewood or Flossmoor — would stay open until 8 p.m.
In response to queries about the delay, Yarbrough tweeted, "We do not transmit results to the website until all polling places have closed for the night."
Once the numbers started showing up, though, the unofficial results of the races became clear quickly. Yarbrough said 98% of the precincts had reported in by 10:15 p.m.
Flossmoor residents learned that their new mayor would be Michelle Nelson. Homewood-Flossmoor School District voters selected incumbent Steven Anderson and challengers Michelle Hoereth and Cynthia Turnquest.
The Flossmoor Board of Trustees will include George Lofton, who ran unopposed for the remaining two years of Gyata Kimmon's seat, plus newcomer Gary Daggett and incumbents Brian Driscoll and Joni Bradley-Scott.
With 138 of 140 precincts reporting, Ronald White and Monica Gordon appeared to have claimed the two seats on the Prairie State College District 515 board, with 27% and 33% of the vote respectively. They topped Nakia Hall, with 24% and Joelle Mulhearn, with about 15%.
Most other local government seats were uncontested.
In Homewood, Mayor Richard Hofeld and trustees Barbara Dawkins and Lauren Roman were re-elected. They will be joined on the board by newcomer Vivian Harris-Jones.
In Homewood School District 153, incumbents Shelly Marks and Deborah Havighorst were re-elected, and newcomer Broderick Booth will join the board.
Flossmoor School District 161 voters elected incumbents Misha Blackman, Carolyn Griggs and Cameron Nelson, husband of new Flossmoor Mayor Michelle Nelson, and newcomer Aracelis Janelle Scharon.
Nancy Gildart was the only candidate running for two seats on the Homewood Public Library Board. Deborah Dennison was re-elected to the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board.
Five candidates were elected to the Flossmoor Public Library board, including Karen Cheung, Natasha Bergeron and Shekika Daggett to four-year terms, and Leilani Shute and Clarissa Watts were elected to two-year terms.
The results posted on the county clerk's site include Election Day ballots, early voting ballots and mail-in ballots.