A judge recently ruled in favor of Lake County officials who filed a lawsuit challenging a state law that created an elections commission and took authority over local elections out of the hands of the county clerk. Kane County Judge David Akemann struck down the law Friday, saying it wrongfully targeted the county. Officials filed the lawsuit in July against the state, saying the measure was unconstitutional. A provision included in the state’s online voter registration bill signed into law in July required that counties having a population of more than 700,000 and bordering another state and no more than two other Illinois counties form an election commission to oversee elections. Based on that definition, no Illinois county other than Lake County would be subject to the rules in that portion of the law. The measure essentially removed control over elections from the hands of the county clerk.
In Akemann’s ruling, he said it was clear the law would only affect Lake County, and there was no rational justification for the state to make a clause in a voting law that would only affect one county. Akemann, a Kane County judge, was appointed to the case to avoid any conflict of interest on the suit.
Lake County Chairman Aaron Lawlor called the ruling a huge victory for the county.
“It’s important that our voters be treated like every other [voter] in the state,” he said.