By: Diane Benjamin
The State of Illinois has way too many units of government now. Corruption is rampant because there aren’t enough watchdogs to watch every one of them. (Hopefully news soon about another huge case) Media decided it wasn’t their job either.
The LAST thing McLean County needs is a separate Election office created by moving elections out of the County Clerk’s office and closing the Bloomington Election Commission.
This creates yet another unit of government with no watchdogs. The League of Women Voters is dead wrong on this one. Paying new administrators and staff would vastly decrease any potential savings. The new commission would also need offices, did they consider that cost? All voting machines must be secured between elections, where would that be LWV? The BEC location isn’t very big, I doubt their offices would work. What does all that staff do between elections LWV?
The Bloomington Election Commission needs to be abolished for numerous reasons:
- It IS confusing for candidates and voters to have two offices
- BEC did a terrible job with the recent petition challenges: https://blnnews.com/2016/12/06/bec-the-saga-continues/
- No legitimate reason exists for separate offices
- Saving taxpayer money should be the first priority when it is possible and feasible
- The expense to pay for two sets of staff to attend training sessions between elections is redundant and unnecessary
Running all McLean County elections through the County Clerk’s office is the fastest way to save money and eliminate confusion. Creating a separate commission creates additional expense and yet another unit of government to watch. Election integrity is vital, citizens deserve an elected official to hold accountable.
It is immaterial what other counties do! That reason is the same one given to justify salaries and benefits for government employees that are WAY above the private sector. Citizens don’t care what other counties do, we care about the one we can hold accountable locally.
I’ve been through a ballot challenge at the County. They know what they are doing, unlike my challenger who thought “registered Republicans” had to sign my petitions. There is no such thing as a “registered Republican” by the way.
Here’s the problem: The LWV could put their own referendum on the ballot to create this new commission. Some other group could put a referendum on the ballot to close BEC, meaning it would be folded into the County Clerk’s office. This would create mass confusion for the public. The County Board needs to act soon to prevent this.