GOP County Clerk Candidates Differ On Voting Reforms

Candidates' signs outside the Champaign County Brookens Center in Urbana.

Sings for candidates in the March 20th primary election, outside the Champaign County Clerk's Office in the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana.

Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

Jon Rector, one of the Republicans running for Champaign County Clerk in Tuesday’s primary wants to take additional steps to maintain voting integrity in local elections. But his opponent, Matt Grandone thinks the move isn’t necessary.

Rector, a Champaign County Board member, brought up the topic at a February candidates forum sponsored by local chapters of the League of Women Voters and the NAACP, along with the News-Gazette.

“I’ll take extra steps to improve the integrity of the voting process, to give everyone confidence in our election results”, said Rector.

Rector’s proposals include doing an on-the-spot online check-up on the absentee status of voters when they’re registering and voting on the same day, to prevent double-voting.

He also proposes setting up a website to allow temporary residents to quickly order an absentee ballot.

On his campaign website, Rector states that these two proposals would “work hand in hand to increase integrity while providing all voters with the ballot of their choosing”.

But Grandone, who works in the county clerk’s office, is skeptical of the proposals, especially the one to prevent double-voting. He says the Champaign County Clerk’s office already has safeguards in place. He warns against weighing down the system.

“If we want to talk about limited government, this is a place where you can certainly get out over your skis, adding things in again, to catch something that doesn’t necessarily exist”, said Grandone.”

Grandone says the real threat to voter integrity is aging voting equipment. He pledges to seek funding for new equipment if elected.

The winner of the GOP primary for Champaign County Clerk will run against Democratic Urbana Alderman Aaron Ammons in November. Incumbent County Clerk Gordy Hulten is running for the new office of Champaign County Executive.

Story source: WILL