Kane County clerk will open Aurora satellite office if election commission voted down

If voters decide to disband the Aurora Election Commission, Kane County would open a satellite clerk's office in the city.

That's the plan outlined in a letter of intent signed by County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, Clerk Jack Cunningham and Mayor Richard Irvin.

The letter was presented to the county board's public service committee Thursday.

"Let me start off with what is most important to you folks here at the county: money," Irvin said. The city would promise to use the money it now sends to the election commission toward the cost of having Kane County run elections, he said.

Aurora would pay for permanent downtown office space for the satellite office.

The clerk would offer all services there, not just election-related duties. The clerk would also set up at least three early voting locations in Aurora and operate a mobile voting vehicle, to be provided by and only used in the city. "We expect we will have more opportunity for people to participate in the electoral process," Irvin said.

In the letter of intent, Lauzen agrees to ask the county board to give to the clerk the money the county now provides to the AEC.

Neither the county board nor the Aurora City Council voted on the letter of intent. If the AEC is abolished, the city and county would need to write up a detailed intergovernmental agreement.

All three officials support getting rid of the commission. Lauzen circulated petitions to get the referendum on the ballot. The county clerk can do the job of overseeing elections in the Kane County portion of Aurora for less than the AEC spends. Of the 73 precincts the AEC handles, 63 are in Kane County. There are three in Kendall County, and seven in Will. The Kendall County Board voted in 2016 in favor of getting rid of the commission.

The AEC was formed in 1934. On March 20 voters will be asked "Shall the City Election Law be rejected?"

Voters in the 43 precincts in the DuPage County part of Aurora would continue to be served by the DuPage Election Commission. They will be voting on a proposition to get rid of the DEC and turn its duties over to the county clerk.

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