DuPage County Election Commission took action following 'bungled' March election, director says
DuPage County Election Commission has already apologized and has put safeguards in place to prevent issues that occurred during March balloting, a county election official said this week.
Those safeguards were agreed to last spring, DuPage County Election Commission Executive Director Joseph H. Sobecki said in an email to DuPage Policy Journal months after a Chicago Sun-Times editorial referred to the election as "bungled" and suggested Chicago-style politics had arrived in the collar county.
"On May 11th, the Election Commission had reached an agreement requiring the vendor to replace 118 OS tabulators damaged by the improperly printed Ender Card, not seek compensation for the full election kit contract equaling the sum of $26,260, terminate all existing contracts with the Commission and preclude themselves from re-bidding for the remainder of the contract," Sobecki said.
"Additionally, staff has implemented contractual requirements for future vendors and internal procedural controls to ensure that election specific test decks are part of the Logic and Accuracy testing of ballots in addition to a secondary test conducted with ender cards selected from the official deck prior to each election."
Text messaging will also be involved, Sobecki said.
"The Election Commission will also implement a mass communication system allowing staff the ability to send text blasts to phones already provided to each polling place," he said.
Sobecki's comments came well after the Chicago Sun-Times ran an editorial on March 24 under the headline: "Next thing you know, cemeteries will be voting in DuPage."
The editorial asked Dupage County "have you forgotten who you are?" and referred to the county's history as a place where previous generations of Chicagoans "fled" to "escape the political corruption of the big bad city."
"In Chicago, the rule of thumb was to 'vote early and often'. In DuPage, a single honorable vote, almost always for a Republican, sufficed," the editorial continued. "In Chicago, the quiet residents of cemeteries voted. In DuPage, only the living, if sometimes barely."
Then the editorial described more recent history, the glitchy election returns of March, that suggest DuPage County is going the way of Chicago-style machine politics.
"We're told it was a hardware problem," the editorial said. "Elections judges were unable to get results from scanning machines, which are used to read paper ballots, and the judges had to lug 268 of the machines to the election commission office in Wheaton to tally the results."
The county's election commission "bungled it badly," the editorial concluded.
"And we were feeling the ghosts of those old Chicago ward heelers."
The county's election commission apologized to voters, election judges and elected officials "for any inconvenience the delay may have caused," in a statement issued the following month.
"Such a delay is unacceptable and the Election Commission will take every measure necessary to ensure the issue encountered is resolved," the statement said.
"We also wish to thank the Judges of Election at the polling place and both the Republican and Democratic Party representatives assisting at the Commission for their dedication ensuring the integrity of the process remained intact. We deeply regret the delay and will take the necessary steps to correct the situation."