Fulfilling a localized effort started by State Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst) back in 2015, the Governor has finally signed his sponsored legislation to dissolve the DuPage County Election Commission for more streamlined and cost-effective elections.
“Despite nearly all of Illinois operating elections through the County Clerk’s office, DuPage County is one of the only counties that uses an election commission,” said Nybo. “With this consolidation, DuPage County will be able to administer elections cost-effectively and better mitigate any possible errors in the election process. This initiative is long overdue and truly in the best interest of the County and its residents—and we will see immediate benefits.”
Nybo’s longtime priority, House Bill 5123, eliminates the current DuPage County Election Commission and replaces it with one that falls under the County Clerk. Nybo first initiated a proposal for this consolidation in 2015 when he submitted DuPage County’s duplicative election body for immediate review to the Local Government and Unfunded Mandate Task Force.
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.
“As a trustee in Westmont, I can personally attest to the frustration our local officials feel toward administering elections in DuPage County,” said Westmont Village Trustee Steve Nero. “Our residents deserve fair, efficient and financially responsible elections, and this consolidation will vastly improve our election process on all levels. I have nothing but confidence that the Clerk’s office will exceed service expectations.”
Nybo also says that with the incorporation of online and automatic voter registration, expansion of early voting, access to absentee ballots, and the reduction in the number of polling locations across the county (which DuPage County decreased from 700 plus to fewer than 300 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 immediately for upcoming elections.