DuPage County officials did not mince words this week in criticizing their election commission for voting machine problems that resulted in DuPage being the last Illinois county to post results after polls closed in the March 20 primary. “There’s no excuse,” DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said. “It’s stunning, to me, in the level of incompetence.” Critique during Tuesday morning’s County Board meeting followed an advisory referendum where 56 percent of voters said yes last week to a proposition for the county clerk’s office to take over election commission duties. The scrutiny also has brought to light other problem areas with DuPage elections.
Officials said the snafu in last Tuesday’s primary occurred at the end of voting hours when election judges at all 268 locations tried to insert a specially-coded sheet of cardstock paper into vote-tabulation machines. The so-called “ender card” tells the machine to no longer accept any further votes.
But the machines stayed running, officials said, because the card was too thick for it to fit through the slot.
As a result, the entire tabulation machine, about as large as a typewriter, had to be transported back to election headquarters at the county administration building in Wheaton.