COVID-19 ELECTIONS REPORT

COUNTY CLERK LAUREN STALEY FERRY RELEASES COVID-19 ELECTIONS REPORT

JOLIET – Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry announces the release of a detailed public report that chronicles the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the past three Will County elections.

The County Clerk has placed a copy of her report, which covers the 2020 Primary and Presidential Elections and the 2021 Consolidated Election, on her website for the public to inspect. She also has distributed copies to the Will County Board and other Will County public officials.

This report breaks down and summarizes the major facets of these elections, including how the County Clerk and her team fulfilled a remarkable 310-percent increase in Vote By Mail Ballot requests sparked by the pandemic and emergency legislation passed by the Illinois General Assembly in the spring of 2020.

The County Clerk delivered 123,779 Vote By Mail Ballots to Will County voters in the 2020 Presidential Election. Prior to that, the record high for Vote By Mail Ballot requests in Will County was 30,192. The dramatic increase prompted the County Clerk to work with the County Board to secure funding for a $1.9 million Vote By Mail automation program that is scheduled to come online for the 2022 Primary Election.

The public report also details: the expenditure of CARES Act funding for protective health equipment; the creation of detailed public health protocols at Polling Places and Early Voting locations; challenges regarding Election Judge and Polling Place cancellations; and the establishment of a Vote By Mail Drop Box Collection Program.

“This report explains staff deployment decisions, procedural challenges, significant purchases, and major initiatives associated with three elections that were conducted under the most extraordinary circumstances,” County Clerk Staley Ferry said. “My objective during these elections was to ensure that public health concerns would not prevent a single voter from casting a ballot. And my goal with this report, as always, is to increase transparency and provide the public with the clearest possible understanding of our election process.”

The County Clerk also praised her staff for their professionalism and commitment during the past three elections.

“I hope this report conveys the professionalism, commitment, tenacity, and ingenuity of every Will County Clerk staff member who worked during this pandemic,” she said. “They set aside their own concerns over potential health risks to facilitate ballot access for every Will County voter.”

County Clerk Staley Ferry continued: “While other government offices across the state were shutting doors and reducing staff, the Will County Clerk’s employees were tightening their masks, disinfecting counters, and washing their hands raw to prepare for these elections.”

The report can be viewed on the County Clerk’s website, www.willcountyclerk.gov, by clicking on Elections, then Voter Services, and then the report link at the bottom of that page

Or the report can be accessed directly at the following link:
http://assets01.aws.connect.clarityelections.com/Assets/Connect/RootPublish/will-il.connect.clarityelections.com/Elections/20-21ElectionReport.pdf