The DuPage Democratic Party chairman says he wants the county to revise its proposal to consolidate the election commission and county clerk’s office to make the move “truly bipartisan.” DuPage officials plan to ask state lawmakers to return election oversight power to the clerk’s office by merging it with the election commission. If approved, the commission would become a division of the clerk’s office. In addition, a five-member board of election commissioners would be created to set policy, hold meetings and receive public comment. The county clerk would serve as the panel’s chairman. Supporters say the plan keeps the election commission board, which currently has three seats and must have representatives from both major political parties. Republicans hold two of the three seats. But Robert Peickert, the DuPage Democratic Party chairman, says he’s concerned about increasing the election commission board to five members because county board Chairman Dan Cronin, a Republican, still would have the power to appoint four of them. “Bipartisan means you have the participation of the Democratic Party, which he has ignored,” Peickert said. “This is not bipartisan.”
Cronin currently doesn’t need county board approval to appoint commissioners, who are paid $27,500 a year.
Peickert said Cronin has appointed Democrats to the panel without seeking input from party leaders. “Dan Cronin picks people that he wants,” Peickert said. “They may have pulled a Democratic ballot, but they’re not anybody that’s associated with our party. They are not precinct committeemen. They are all beholden to Dan Cronin.”
According to the merger proposal, the county board chairman would need “the advice and consent of the county board” for appointments. Elected officials “who are members of the respective leading political parties” also would be consulted.
Full Article: Democrats critical of DuPage merger plan.