A new state law allowing election-day voter registration at polling places has those who run elections in the Fox Valley area reeling. Kane County Clerk John Cunningham said complying with the new law, which mandates registering voters at every polling place, would cost both Kane and DuPage counties about $1.9 million each, and Will County about $1.2 million. He said he knows this because of a meeting he hosted that included eight county clerks, including those in Will and Kendall, and the DuPage Election Commission. The meeting topic was what to do about the new law. Statewide, election officials have estimated it will cost between $10 million and $11 million to comply with the law.
The Kane County Board already has passed a resolution urging the General Assembly to return to the rule that held true for elections this year. That allowed election authorities to have one polling place for election-day registrations for every 100,000 people. Kane had five such polling places.
As it was, that cost Kane County an additional $296,000, Cunningham said, and 700 people registered the day of the election and voted. That came down to about $423 a voter. “That’s not very good business,” Cunningham said.
Debbie Gillette, Kendall County clerk, told the Kendall County Board this week the new law is another “unfunded mandate” from the state. “We have to find out a way to make it work,” she said.