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Election

Voters approve advisory referendum calling for merger of DuPage election commission, clerk

Voters in DuPage County supported a nonbinding referendum March 20 that calls for the merger of the DuPage County Election Commission and Clerk's Office.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, 76,887 voters, or about 56.5 percent, supported the measure, while 59,256 voters, or about 43.5 percent, voted against it, according to unofficial primary election results from the Election Commission.

The numbers came after the commission experienced "technical difficulties" in closing its precincts, causing a delay in results reporting.

The plan is a goal of DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, who has said it would increase efficiency and save money.

Cronin initially looked to state lawmakers to approve legislation that would merge the two offices. The state Senate in May 2017 unanimously passed the measure, but it stalled in the House.

Under the proposal, elections would be overseen by a five-member, bipartisan panel. The panel would include two representatives from each major political party and the county clerk as chairman.

Each member would be appointed by the County Board with the consultation of local political party organizations.

The Election Commission was created by state law in 1974, and it has been operating independently since. It is overseen by a bipartisan three-person board, appointed by the County Board chairman, as well as an executive director, and it has its own office and staff.

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