Kendall County Clerk Debbie Gillette expressed confidence during Tuesday’s county board meeting that her office will be able to handle the Aurora voting precincts that could fall under her jurisdiction if the Aurora Election Commission is dissolved.
A binding referendum has been placed on the March 20 ballot asking Aurora residents if the commission, which was formed in 1934, should be dissolved, following a recent court fight.
Gillette said that in 2015 there were about 3,200 voters in the three Aurora precincts that are in Kendall County. She said the commission had polling places set up in the last election and that she hopes to just “take over” those sites and make the process “fluid” for the county’s city of Aurora voters if the commission is dissolved.
According to Gillette, the referendum reads: “Shall the city election law be rejected?” and it is a yes or no question with no further explanation.
Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder asked Gillette if voting yes meant voters were choosing to abolish the commission. Gillette said, “I’m not a lawyer.”
He said that’s “what it sounds like.”
“They made it as difficult as possible to get this to go away,” Gryder said of those opposed to the referendum and in favor of keeping the election commission.
The Kendall County Board approved a resolution in April of 2016 urging the city of Aurora to abolish the election commission.
Gryder recalled that during the spring 2016 primary election, results in some of the precincts in the Kendall County portion of Aurora weren’t known until the day after Election Day.
“There’s not really a reason, in this day and age, for that to occur,” Gryder said. “This seems like one of those outdated commissions in government that can be best handled by our [county] clerks.”
Gryder also said there were issues during the last presidential election where Aurora residents who live in Kendall County stood in line for early voting at county clerk sites, only to be told that they could only vote early at the Aurora Election Commission office at 323 W. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.
Gillette said her office puts up signs about those with Aurora addresses, but they still had early voters from Aurora coming to their office in Yorkville.
Gillette said her office will also have to consider printing bilingual ballots if the office takes on the Aurora precincts.