Senators Turner, Rezin join county clerks to announce election reform legislation

Seeks to increase transparency and add standardization to Illinois’ election process

State Senator Sally Turner (R-Beason) and Senate Republican Deputy Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris) today joined with Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray, Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman, Logan County Clerk Theresa Moore, Marshall County Clerk Jill Kenyon and Mason County Clerk Summer Brown to announce legislation that would instill transparency and uniformity to the state’s election process.

“The Election Standardization Act is about adding standardized practices and increased transparency to our election system,” said Sen. Turner. “As a former county clerk myself, the election process is a very important issue to me. I have spent over 20 years of my career working to ensure the safety, transparency, and efficiency of our election system. My passion for this continues as I continue my public service as a state senator.”

“The ability to vote in free and fair elections is one of our country’s greatest rights,” said Sen. Rezin. “This legislation does not hinder that right in any way. In fact, it improves upon the process for every Illinois voter by increasing transparency and integrity. It ensures they have better access to information regarding the process as well as providing them with consistency every time they vote.”

The Election Standardization Act, Senate Bill 1326, was created after State Sen. Sally Turner, who is the former Logan County Clerk and Recorder, convened an Election Reform Working Group to help improve the election process in the state. The group explored ways to increase transparency and uniformity within the state’s current election system. It drew upon ideas and feedback from key stakeholders, including the State Board of Elections, individual county clerks, and the Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders.

“I was honored to be picked by Senator Turner to participate in her election reform working group,” said Don Gray, Sangamon County Clerk. “The Election Standardization Act is the culmination of months of thoughtful and hard work. I truly believe this bill will help create a more transparent and better election process for every Illinoisan.”

The Election Standardization Act does the following:

  • Standardizes election judge training by requiring election authorities to use specific guidelines provided by the State Board of Elections. Training topics must include voter verification, campaign free zones, electioneering, vote-by-mail processing, provisional voting, and ballot handling and processing.
  • Requires election authorities to post on their websites the reason for any reporting delay that is five hours past close of polls.
  • Requires the State Board of Elections to audit the post-election vote-by-mail processing requirements and procedures of five percent of the state’s election authorities.
  • Requires election authorities to post on their websites the procedures for processing vote by mail ballots, which could simply be a posting of the state’s legal requirements for vote by mail processing.

 

“Senate Bill 1326, will greatly improve the transparency and standardization of many of the duties that election authorities throughout the State of Illinois must perform,” said Sandy Leitheiser, Montgomery County Clerk & Recorder. “I appreciate Senator Turner’s leadership with this valuable legislation, which sends a reassuring message to our constituents that elections will be administered in an open and efficient manner.”

“All of the provisions included in this legislation are designed to better our state’s elections and to help build confidence in our election system,” said Theresa Moore, Logan County Clerk & Recorder. “They create additional transparency for voters and uniformity among all election authorities.”

“I’m happy to support Sen. Turner and Sen. Rezin on their efforts to bring these much-need, common-sense ideas to the election process,” said Jill Kenyon, Marshall County Clerk & Recorder. “As county clerks, it’s our responsibility to ensure voters have a smooth and easy method to their 15th Amendment right. This legislation strengthens our laws to ensure we are doing just that.

“With only a few weeks left before the end of the spring legislative session, time is running out on this much-needed legislation,” said John Ackerman, Tazewell County Clerk & Recorder. “I sincerely urge the General Assembly to move the Election Standardization Act, so we can strengthen our existing electoral procedures.”

Senators Turner and Rezin say these proposed reforms are not partisan ideas and should be embraced by every Illinoisan.

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