GENEVA – In a news release Thursday, Kane County Clerk John Cunningham thanked Kane County voters, staff, and election workers for their role in making Tuesday’s historic general election so successful.
“I want to commend the voters of Kane County for their participation in yesterday’s general election. The voter turnout was amazing,” Cunningham stated in the release. “In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we broke records for voter turnout. That says a lot about the desire of Kane County voters to participate in our democracy and make their voices heard.”
Although election results as of last night are unofficial and not yet final, preliminary results indicate that the total number of votes cast of 230,856 set a record for turnout in any Kane County election.
The previous high was 172,100 in November 2016.
More than 80,000 voters cast a vote by mail in this election, far exceeding the prior record of 14,501 in November 2018, the release stated.
More than 100,000 voted in person through early or grace period voting.
Nearly 80% of the votes were cast prior to election day through early voting or by mail.
The unofficial results are likely to change as 10,096 Vote by Mail ballots requested by voters had not been returned as of Wednesday night.
Vote by mail ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 can be counted if they are received within 14 days.
The Clerk’s Office is expected to complete the final canvass, or the official counting, of election results on Nov. 17.
“I want to thank our election judges who were on the front lines during this election,” Cunningham stated in the release. “Our election judges are critically important to helping the Clerk’s Office run successful elections and we greatly appreciate those election judges who worked during early voting and on election day.”
For the safety of voters and election workers, the Clerk’s Office adopted sanitation protocols with the input from the Kane County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health, the release stated.
Precautions included providing hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment for election workers and voters and routinely disinfecting voting equipment and frequently touched surfaces.
“I also want to thank and praise my staff who spent countless hours working to make this election fair, transparent, and safe,” Cunningham stated in the release. “The preparation required to open 25 early voting locations for weeks before election day and then 291 precincts on election day for the voters is more than people realize. The additional challenge of assembling nearly 90,000 vote by mail ballots and processing more than 80,000 returned ballots was immense. I am proud of the way my office successfully handled the challenge.”
The Clerk’s Office purchased automation equipment to assemble and process vote by mail ballots, saving time and taxpayer dollars.
Cunningham estimated that the Clerk’s Office saved over $500,000 in additional staff salaries to process VBM ballots and saved an additional $175,000 in postage by folding ballots a second time to fit a smaller return envelope.
Cunningham also thanked the community partners in the Clerk’s Voter Outreach Program, an initiative in which local businesses, school, and government offices with digital displays or marquee signs partner with the Clerk’s Office and post messages such as “Apply to Vote by Mail,” “Vote Early Sept. 24 – Nov. 2,” or “Don’t Forget to Vote” to increase voter participation in early voting.
As the election authority for Kane County, the Clerk’s Office provides resources for those who wish to be informed about elections.
Through the Voter Outreach Program, the VoteMobile, participation in community events, Facebook, website www.kanevotes.org, and Twitter @KaneCoILClerk, the Clerk's Office provides information and resources directly to Kane County residents.