* I meant to post this when Eric Zorn wrote it, but somehow forgot. Zorn drilled down into 14th Ward election results to see how Ald. Ed Burke won…
His two challengers, Jaime Guzman and Tanya Patino, simply had to hold Burke to less than 50 percent of the vote in order to force a runoff election April 2.
And in 27 of the 31 precincts in the 14th Ward, they did. Combined, Guzman and Patino won 51 percent of the vote in those precincts, according to preliminary tallies provided by the Chicago Board of Elections.
But in four precincts in the western finger of the ward — a 38-block-long gerrymandered extrusion that in places is just one block wide — Burke’s operation shuffled that deck and got his voters to the polls.
The contiguous 1st, 4th, 9th and 24th precincts at the far edge of that protuberance had 52 percent voter turnout, compared with a dismal 30 percent turnout in the other precincts. Those four key precincts, which overwhelmingly supported white mayoral hopefuls Jerry Joyce and Bill Daley, voted 70 percent for Burke.
That margin boosted Burke to 3,759 total votes, close to 54 percent, enough to claim re-election and avoid a runoff.
Burke deployed a ton of people to those precincts.
Anyway, good catch by Eric.