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Article updated: 2/20/2014 11:57 AM

Endorsement: Davoust for Kane County clerk

Mark Davoust

Mark Davoust

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By The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Turnout was 12.4 percent -- or 26,593 ballots cast -- in Kane County for the April 2011 election, the lowest in 24 years for a nonpartisan, consolidated election. A mere 2.9 percent voted in the February 2013 primary. That's not all on the back of John "Jack" Cunningham, in his 12th year as clerk, the overlord of all things election. He said he's kept a tight budget and modernized voting equipment. Challenger Mark Davoust, a 10-year county board member, said, "You look at the recent 11 percent to 13 percent voter turnout and say there's got to be something more we can do about that." We agree. The U.S. Justice Department announced in September 2007 a settlement in its suit against Kane County for not providing materials and assistance in Spanish during past elections. The Justice Department monitored the April 2009 election to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Davoust says he will target Spanish-speaking voters to repair what was broken. Cunningham, 75, said getting people to vote is primarily the responsibility of the political parties. Davoust, 55, said it's not only the clerk's job to get people to vote, the clerk must get voters to care about local elections. It's time for new blood. Davoust is smart enough to acclimate himself to this new challenge. He brings a fresh perspective. He wants improvement in voter registration and turnout year-round, not just during campaign cycles. Davoust is endorsed.

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