Judge splits Aurora Election Commission assets among 3 counties

Kane County will receive the bulk of the now-defunct Aurora Election Commission's assets, and maybe its outstanding debts, according to a court ruling Friday.

Judge David Akemann split the commission's assets among Kane, Kendall and Will counties according to the percentage of Aurora's voters the counties will now assume responsibility for.

Kane County will receive roughly 85 percent of those voters and $506,000 of the commission's assets. Will County will serve a little more than 10 percent of the voters and receive $63,000. And about 5 percent of the voters will now be served by Kendall County, which receives about $29,000 in the decision.

The ruling ends a somewhat tense waiting period for the counties as they've scrambled in recent months to provide for the influx of new voters without knowing if they'd receive any of the commission's assets to assist.

Kane County officials hoped to receive all the money based on its long history of financially supporting the commission along with the city of Aurora. Aurora officials initially wanted a chunk of the cash, but they abandoned that quest when Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham promised to open a full-service branch office in downtown Aurora.

Cunningham said Friday's ruling puts the branch office on track to open next month as well as relieve some of the tension about being ready for Aurora voters.

"It's over," Cunningham said. "We know where we are. We know we'll have adequate funds to do this. But it's been a bit of a zoo because we had to move forward with some things, procuring necessary equipment, before knowing what the judge was going to decide. If we hadn't been proactive for this, it would have been impossible to get ready in the time we have left before the November election."

There were a couple of curveballs in Akemann's ruling. While unlikely, any of the monies received from the commission's assets that aren't spent by the counties on the November election must be turned over to the city of Aurora. It's also possible that the commission had debts that still weren't paid by the time Akemann dissolved it last month. Any of those debts will now come to Kane County.

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