Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry has a long history of service in Will County as an elected official and community leader.

Lauren was elected as Will County Clerk in November 2018. As the County Clerk, Lauren has the honor of supervising the election process in Will County. She also is responsible for maintaining Vital Records for Will County citizens, including birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates. In addition, she has the happy duty of issuing licenses to couples who are planning marriages or civil unions. She also serves as the clerk for the Will County Board.

Prior to her election as County Clerk, Lauren served as a Will County Board Member and was instrumental in planning major building projects, including the construction of a new public safety complex for the Will County Sheriff’s Department and the new Will County Courthouse.

In the community, she has been involved with many local service organizations, and she continues to serve as executive board members for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties, the Spanish Community Center, and the Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In her business career, Lauren served as a process improvement and project manager for CapitalOne, where she implemented cross-training initiatives, provided support for credit card programs, and ensured regulatory compliance.

She was born and raised in Joliet, where she attended St. Mary Nativity Grade School and Joliet Catholic Academy. She received her degree in Business Management from Rasmussen College.

Lauren is the proud mother of her son, Matthew.

Upon taking office, Lauren immediately began launching successful initiatives to improve services and reduce spending.

Lauren added several new Early Voting locations throughout Will County during her first term to expand access to the ballot box for all citizens. The new locations include Prairie Activity & Recreation Center in Plainfield, the Spanish Community Center in Joliet, and the Louis Sherman Community Center in Steger. There are now a total of 25 Early Voting locations across Will County. In addition, Lauren worked with many locations to expand their regular Early Voting hours.  And during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, she further expanded those hours to secure voting options and protect the public health. EARLY VOTING

The County Clerk worked with the Will County Board to direct $1.9 million in funding toward the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment to automate her office’s growing Vote By Mail program following the COVID-19 Pandemic. The funding will cover the cost of a high-speed printer, inserter, and sorter from industry leader BlueCrest to print, assemble, and organize Vote By Mail Packets. The purchase of this equipment will increase the efficiency and security of the Vote By Mail program while reducing costs to taxpayers by an estimated $500,000 per election compared to a manual process. In the 2020 Presidential Election, the Will County Clerk’s Office fulfilled 123,779 requests for Vote By Mail Ballots, a 310-percent spike over the previous record of 30,192 requests in the 2016 Presidential Election. Funding also covered the renovation of the County Clerk’s work area to prepare it for the new equipment.  VOTE BY MAIL AUTOMATION  

In a first for Will County, the County Clerk spearheaded the creation of detailed public reports that break down the major components of each election. Lauren delivered her first election report following the 2019 Consolidated Election. Her second report chronicled the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the 2020 Primary and Presidential Elections as well as the 2021 Consolidated Election. Both reports were placed on her website for public inspection. She also presented them formally to the Will County Board and fielded questions about the challenges and costs related to these elections. It is the first time such comprehensive reports have been presented to the public and to local elected officials in the interest of transparency.

Lauren reorganized her entire Voter Registration Department to ensure Will County’s voter rolls are current and secure. The County Clerk increased staffing, reorganized duties and procedures, and provided the latest state training for her team of voter registration professionals. She also has implemented the latest advances in voter registration technology to further enhance efficiencies and accuracy.

The County Clerk in 2019 launched the Student Ambassador Program, a major outreach initiative aimed at involving high school students in our election process. The program trains high school juniors and seniors to register people to vote and encourages them to hold non-partisan voter registration drives at their schools. The 38 members in the 2019-2020 inaugural class of Student Ambassadors registered 529 eligible Will County students to vote. The Student Ambassadors also are encouraged to recruit peers to serve as Election Judges on Election Day. STUDENT AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

Lauren redesigned her Voter Registration Cards in 2019, streamlining content and reducing size to save significantly on mailing and printing costs. The smaller cards will save local taxpayers a minimum of $161,000 in postage costs over the course of two state-mandated mass mailings while providing citizens all the important voting information they need.  REDESIGNED VOTER CARDS

The Will County Clerk’s Office in July 2019 began accepting credit card or debit card payments from constituents who wish to purchase copies of birth, marriage, or death certificates. The decision marked a major development in modernizing the County Clerk’s Office and making access to services convenient for constituents. For years, the Clerk’s Office had been turning away visitors who weren’t prepared to pay for copies of records with cash. This included individuals who quickly needed copies of birth certificates or engaged couples who wished to obtain marriage licenses.  ACCEPTING CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS

The County Clerk in 2019 eliminated a major hurdle to residents applying for marriage or civil union licenses. Lauren scaled back a longstanding office identification policy that was far more restrictive than what is required under Illinois law or by neighboring County Clerks. Residents now may receive a license by providing only one qualifying ID, and are no longer required to locate their Birth Certificates or Passports as well. MARRIAGE/CIVIL UNION LICENSES

Lauren was chosen by the Illinois State Crime Commission in 2021 to receive its honor for Excellence in County Government for her skillful coordination of the 2020/2021 elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the accuracy and speed in which she posted elections results during each of those elections, and for transparency in providing important election information to the public. She also was recognized for expanding Early Voting locations across Will County and for cost-reduction measures that have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. ILLINOIS STATE CRIME COMMISSION HONOR

Lauren made a concerted effort to expand the County Clerk’s presence at expos, community fairs, public and private schools, and events hosted by social service agencies so that everyone is aware of the services her office provides.