Following his years of advocacy serving on the DuPage County Board, State Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove) sponsored the long-awaited initiative to consolidate the county’s election commission into the county clerk’s office—signed by the Governor on July 23.
The bill signing was hosted at the DuPage County Board Office in Wheaton where Curran, the County Board and state legislators gathered to watch the Governor sign the legislation into law.
“Back when I was serving on the County Board, we pushed hard to eliminate duplicative layers of government—in a focused effort to reduce waste and increase efficiency in our county government,” said Curran. “I’m glad to see this sustainable government policy bring efficiency to another part of county government. As a result, our election process will be streamlined and more financially responsible, so we can save our taxpayers from extra costs.”
Statewide, 100 out of 102 county clerks currently administer local elections except for DuPage County and Peoria County, which have an appointed county election commission.
The effort to dissolve the DuPage County Election Commission into the DuPage County Clerk’s Office was first proposed in 2015 when Curran served as Vice Chairman of the DuPage County Board. In consolidating the entities, DuPage County will have a more efficient and cost-effective election process while also reducing the risk of errors during elections.
“DuPage County has spent several years to approve this consolidation effort,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin. “With the support of voters and help from our DuPage legislators, we have advanced another good government reform that will save taxpayers money. Together with Governor Rauner, we are setting the standard of a responsible, effective government—one that adapts and innovates the delivery of its services and works on behalf of the people it serves.”
Additionally, Curran says that with the increased incorporation of online and automatic voter registration, early voting, access to absentee ballots, and the reduction in the number of DuPage County polling locations, there is less need for full-time and year-round election personnel.
“This is a major victory for the taxpayers of DuPage County and a major step toward the much-needed expansion of local control within Illinois,” said DuPage County Board Member Greg Hart. “The Election Commission’s consolidation will boost efficiency, improve the quality of services, maintain the integrity of our electoral process, and save DuPage residents an estimated $300,000 annually. I applaud the Governor’s decision to sign this bill and look forward to working with Chairman Cronin and my fellow County Board members to implement this merger in the coming months.”
House Bill 5123 will take effect on January 1, 2019.