The Kane County Clerk’s Office has issued a new release saying the November presidential election was done safely, securely and under budget.
According to the news release, the November General Election was historic, and not just due to the pandemic.
Voter turnout was 60,000 higher than in any other election, and Kane County Clerk John A. Cunningham said there were more than six times more vote-by-mail ballots than in any previous election.
To respond to that volume, the office acquired automation equipment that allowed officials to process hundreds of ballots a minute.
“While some other counties had dozens of judges still counting vote-by-mail ballots for days after the election, Kane County finished processing all email ballots by 7:15 p.m. on Election Night,” Cunningham said. “We did it in an accurate, transparent, fast, and fiscally responsible way.”
The Clerk’s Office news release said 2020 brought significant challenges to the office through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials said personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies were scarce, but the Clerk’s Office secured 100 hand sanitizing stations for each of the polling places for the voters and election judges.
Safety protocols were put in place to protect voters and election judges, polling places and early voting sites were reconfigured for social distancing, election judges were trained online, and polling sites and equipment were sanitized multiple times during the day, and attracting election judges to work during a pandemic.
To help pay for those efforts, the Clerk’s Office secured more than $900,000 from the State Board of Elections to purchase the new equipment as well as PPE and other necessary supplies. Officials said that equipment helped save more than $500,000 in overtime and additional staff to assemble ballots and also saved more than $160,000 in postage costs with one additional fold and eliminating an envelope.
Overall, the Clerk’s Office secured more than $1.4 million in grant money. In addition to the CARES Act grant, the Clerk’s Office secured grant funding for election security and voter registration. The Clerk’s Office also was awarded more than $300,000 from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to be spent in 2021 on election upgrades.
Of course, administering elections and voter registration are just a few of the services provided by the Office of Kane County Clerk. The Clerk’s Office handles marriage licenses, accepting applications for passports, taking passport photos, providing certified copies of marriage, birth and death records, facilitating redemption of delinquent property taxes, and extending taxes for Kane County’s governmental units.
Because of the pandemic and the travel restrictions, revenue from marriage licenses and passports decreased significantly.
“Despite that, the Clerk’s Office ended the year under budget and still generated more than $1.3 million in revenue, which is enough to fund the Vital Records and Tax Extension Departments without property tax dollars,” officials said in the news release.
More information about the Clerk’s Office is available at kanecountyclerk.org, and on social media (Twitter @KaneCoILClerk and Facebook @kanecountyclerk).
SOURCE: Kane County Clerk’s Office news release
Kane County Clerk’s Office on Twitter
Although 2020 was a year full of new challenges, the #KaneCounty Clerk’s Office successfully and safely navigated the pandemic and a historic November election while staying under budget. We look forward to serving you in 2021. #twill pic.twitter.com/MPPAsgPKMV
— Kane County,IL Clerk (@KaneCoILClerk) January 21, 2021