Election Kits Not Tested: DuPage County Election Commission

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Election kits were not tested prior to last week’s primaries, according to the DuPage County Election Commission.

At the latest DuPage County Board meeting, Election Commission Executive Director Joe Sobecki said papers called ender cards issued in the kits and used to close the voting machines were almost twice as thick as the paper tested in the sample kit and would not fit through the machines.

Voting machines from all 268 polling places then had to be hand-delivered to Wheaton, delaying totals and costing overtime for workers.

“The important thing was that from the election none of the results were compromised,” Sobecki said. “The integrity of the process was not compromised and we have the results uploaded and we are back on schedule.”

Sobecki said the ender cards have never been tested in the past, and the printer, Liberty Systems, has printed the ender cards before.

Liberty Systems told ABC7 the discrepancy was due to operator error when an employee grabbed the wrong paper, but some board members still blame the election commission.

“I’m stunned to hear that there was no pretesting done, no final run through of the equipment before election day of the final kit,” said Robert Larsen, District 6 representative for the DuPage County Board.

Board Member Pete DiCianni said as a printer himself, he blames Liberty Systems.

“If somebody gives me a sample of 7-point then I give them a product of 12-point I’m liable. That’s flawed,” said DiCianni.

All of this comes in the same election in which a majority of DuPage County voters approved a measure to dissolve the election commission, something County Board Chairman Dan Cronin has been pushing for.

“All of this underscores the need for legislation to be passed by the General Assembly that would fold the duties of the election commission that would fold the duties of the election commission into the clerk’s office,” Cronin said.

Cronin said he will be going to Springfield on April 11 for a hearing that could allow the merger.

Sobecki said he will support whatever is best for the county.

“I think that we’re looking at what’s best for DuPage County government,” he said. “So whether it’s the clerk’s office or a separate agency I think we’re looking for the best process here.”

Even if that bill is approved in Springfield, a merger of the offices would not come in time for the November election.

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.