DuPage clerk 'very pleased' with how the election went

 
 
Updated 3/18/2020 5:54 PM

It was a long night for anyone waiting for the unofficial election results from all of DuPage County's precincts on Tuesday.

The DuPage County clerk's office didn't post totals from all of the precincts until well after midnight -- more than five hours after the polls closed. Will County, by contrast, had all its precincts counted more than two hours earlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Still, Clerk Jean Kaczmarek said she's satisfied with how the election went.

"After all the immense obstacles and on-the-fly decisions forced upon us, I am very pleased that the election went as well as it did," Kaczmarek said Wednesday.

She said the clerk's office is a small department that has its hands full under normal circumstances. And this primary election was far from normal, she said.

In addition to a shortage of election judges, the clerk's office had to move 17 polling places to the county fairgrounds in Wheaton for Election Day because of concerns about the coronavirus. Steps also were taken to keep polling places safe for voters, including increasing supplies of hand sanitizer.

"It's been a very long several weeks for us," Kaczmarek said. "To be a few hours later than normal with results didn't seem like a problem."

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Republicans and Democrats acknowledge the election division of the clerk's office dealt with multiple obstacles during the primary.

"Considering everything, I think Jean did an outstanding job," said county board member Elizabeth Chaplin, a Downers Grove Democrat.

Chaplin said volunteers who were working at the fairgrounds told her the election was excellently run.

While the results "were a little slow coming in," Chaplin said it was unusual circumstances.

"We had election judges that were just coming in that first day," she said. "We had a lot of people who weren't even trained that were working the polls."

Board member Jim Zay said the state put a lot on the county clerks, who had to oversee an election during the coronavirus outbreak. The Carol Stream Republican said he believes Illinois' primary should have been postponed.

"I think (Kaczmarek) did the best she could under the circumstances," Zay said. "Hopefully, she'll let us know why it took so long. Those questions do have to be asked at the appropriate time."

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