One of the many “hats” I wear as the Library Director is to act as the Local Election Official (LEO) for the Library District. Every other year, when seats on the Library Board of Trustees are up for election, I oversee the process, ensure that the proper notices are published, documentation collected and disseminated, forms filled out and appropriate originals or copies filed with the County Clerk’s Office. Thankfully the Will County Clerk and State Board of Elections offer training and support for the library, park, fire and other types of districts that are responsible for these duties. It’s a strictly regulated and highly structured process – and absolutely imperative that it’s done correctly.
This week, from December 15 through December 22, is the filing period for candidates to appear on the ballot in April. Each potential candidate must fill out and file the appropriate forms for the office for which they seek election, along with the correct amount of signatures of registered voters for the office. When the candidate files the paperwork with the district, it’s the LEO (and/or their designees) who accept them and provide a receipt for the filing. If two or more candidates file at the same time, the LEO schedules and holds a lottery to determine the order in which the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot. Later, the LEO certifies to the County Clerk’s Office the ballot proof, showing exactly how the names will appear on the ballot. Each part of the process follows rules, some directly from state statute and some from the State’s Administrative Rules. My role in election services at the Library is to ensure that we follow the rules.
Did you know that overseeing the election process for the district isn’t the only election-related service offered by the Library? You can register to vote at the Library. Options for voter registration are:
- · Online https://ova.elections.il.gov/
- · By mail http://www.thewillcountyclerk.com/connect/site/index.jsp?menuItemId=75
- · In person at the County Clerk’s Office, drivers’ license facility or with a deputy, civic or union registrar, such as your Library’s designated staff.
Registration is open throughout the year except during the 27 days preceding an election. Registration reopens the second day following an election. However, if you missed the registration deadline prior to an election, you may be eligible for Grace Period registration. Voter registration, like election services, follows a complex set of rules. Your Library staff are available to help you through the process. Call or stop by for more information.