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Local

Judge rules to allow Aurora Election Commission question on March 20 ballot

GENEVA – A referendum that seeks to dissolve the Aurora Election Commission will be printed on the March 20 primary ballot, Kane County Court Judge David Akemann ruled Jan. 9.

Akemann’s decision followed court hearings on objections to the ballot question filed by two Aurora residents and the commission itself.

Akemann overruled the objections and denied a request by the commission to file a friend-of-the-court brief.

Akemann also ruled that the question would be presented in a form specified by law, “Shall the city election law be rejected?” without additional summary or explanation as requested by the proponents.

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, who was among those collecting 1,500 signatures to get the question on the ballot, said if the commission was abolished it would save money for Aurora and Kane County taxpayers.

“If it was dissolved, it would save Aurora taxpayers $650,000 a year,” Lauzen said. “I am an Aurora taxpayer.”

Lauzen said it costs Kane County about $750,000 per year to support the Aurora Election Commission. If the Kane County Clerk took up the commission’s duties, it would cost that office an additional $150,000 to $250,000, he said.

Lauzen said the additional funds for the clerk’s office would be found by cutting expenses elsewhere as the county would not increase its levy to cover it.

Commission chairwoman Leah Anderson said it would cost the clerk’s office more than what Lauzen projected because the commission bought new voting equipment six months ago that does not match the county’s machines. This would put an additional expense on the clerk to buy more machines, she said.

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