Elizabeth (Liz) Chaplin: 2024 candidate for DuPage County recorder


Party: Democrat

Office Sought: DuPage County Recorder

City: Downers Grove

Age: 59

Occupation: Elected Official

Previous offices held: DuPage County Board Member, 4th term

Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?

I am running for Recorder with a clear vision — to elevate the office through a commitment to meaningful change. While I will dutifully fulfill mandated responsibilities, my belief is that the Recorder’s role can and should extend beyond mere compliance, ensuring the public reaps the fullest benefits.

I plan to reshape the Recorder’s Office. My plan includes implementing a robust community outreach initiative, embracing the latest technology to modernize our operations, empowering our dedicated employees, championing the preservation and sharing of historical documents and keeping up on important legislation that impacts the office. I am determined to forge strong relationships with recorders across the state to foster collaboration and exchange of best practices.

How well has the Recorder of Deeds performed, and what qualifications would you bring to the office?

My decision to enter this race is not a critique of the current Recorder’s performance. I believe that healthy competition and a variety of perspectives can contribute to the continuous improvement of our public offices.

Drawing on my 12 years of dedicated service on the county board, I bring a wealth of experience in policy development, procurement, ordinance review, budgeting, and financial management. These skills will be valuable assets in effectively managing the Recorder's Office.

In my view, the Recorder should be well-versed in engaging with the county board to advocate for the needs of the office. I am committed to promoting open communication and collaboration. If elected, I won't shy away from presenting essential projects before the board and requesting the necessary funding.

It’s important for the Recorder’s Office to evolve and meet the demands of the changing demographics and actively contribute to that progress.

Describe your position on transparency in the office and the ease of access to records by the public. If you believe improvements are needed, what are they and how would you go about achieving them?

I’m committed to a transparent and accessible Recorder’s Office operations. The Electronic Recording Act improved public access to official records on the office’s website. While progress has been made, there are areas that need attention.

As per the Recorder’s Performance Measures, the goal is an 80% electronic filing rate. In 2021, it was 76.7%, but subsequent years recorded declines: 73.1% in 2022, 68.9% in 2023, and a projected 67.8% in 2024. That’s unacceptable.

As per the Recorder’s Performance Measures, the goal is an 80% electronic filing rate. In 2021, it was 76.7%, but subsequent years recorded declines: 73.1% in 2022, 68.9% in 2023, and a projected 67.8% in 2024. That’s unacceptable.

Please list any elected office you’ve ever run for and what the result of that election was. Have you ever been appointed to fill an unexpired term?

I have a history of civic engagement and leadership, including running for elected offices and serving in appointed roles.

DuPage County Board Run (2006): Unsuccessful attempt.

Illinois State Representative Run (2014): Slated by the Democratic Party of DuPage County, but the run was not successful.

DuPage County Board Runs 2012: Successfully elected, receiving the most votes in a three-way race.

2016: Re-elected.

2018: Re-elected with the highest number of votes among all 18 county board candidates.

2022: Re-elected.

I stand out as the only Democrat in the Recorder’s race to have won two elections before the 2018 blue wave, showcasing my consistent appeal to voters across different political climates.

Appointment to DuPage Water Committee (2002-2010).

My commitment to public service, demonstrated through both electoral and appointed roles, reflects my dedication to the well-being and progress of DuPage County.

Do you see any opportunity or value in merging this office with other county offices to produce efficiencies in overall county spending?

I am a strong advocate for exploring opportunities to improve the efficiency of county operations and reduce overall spending.

In 2019, I initiated a binding referendum question on transferring the Recorder’s duties to the Office of the County Clerk. It’s important to note that 90 out of 102 counties have merged the Recorder’s Office with the Clerk’s Office. The County Board voted 11-7 to remove the question from the ballot citing a study done by MGT implying there would be no cost savings.

The Daily Herald did a scathing rebuke of the boards decision remove the question from the ballot noting that the MGT report in actuality did find cost savings and efficiencies.

What makes you the best candidate to represent your party to seek this position?

With 12 years of experience on the DuPage County Board and 8 years on the water commission, I bring unparalleled knowledge and a profound understanding of how county government operates. My track record reflects a strong work ethic, compassion, commitment, and a solid reputation, all of which have been integral to my success. Notably, I have a history of success in winning general elections against Republican candidates long before the Blue Wave, showcasing my ability to connect with voters and secure broad support. I believe that my extensive experience and proven qualities make me the most accomplished candidate in this race, uniquely positioned to represent our party effectively in seeking this position.

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