October 01, 2022
Election


Election

2022 Primary: Cunningham leads race for Republican Kane Clerk nominee

Incumbent John “Jack” Cunningham of Aurora is ahead of opponent Douglas Warlick for the Republican nomination for Kane County Clerk.

According to unofficial results, Cunningham received 16,877 votes to Warlick’s 11,445, with 292 out of 292 precincts reporting. Mail-in and provisional ballots can be counted until July 12. The last day to canvass the June 28 primary election results is July 19.

Cunningham, 83, has been the clerk since 2002 and a Republican committeeman since 1960.

Warlick, 65, is a Geneva attorney.

John "Jack" Cunningham

The clerk’s office is responsible for running elections; maintaining birth, death and marriage records; maintaining the county government’s records; and calculating property tax extensions.

Warlick had claimed that election laws were not followed in 2020, which Cunningham refuted as “baseless” and said showed that his challenger does not understand the process.

Douglas Warlick, Kane County Clerk candidate

Among the issues Warlick raised is that vote-by-mail ballots were not initialed by the election judges.

Cunningham said that is further indication that Warlick does not understand the process.

“We are not required by law to have write-in ballots initialed,” Cunningham said. “Another section [of state law] states that if there are paper ballots in a precinct, they have to be initialed.”

In terms of mail-in ballots being initialed, Cunningham’s office bought machines in preparation for the 2020 election that checked mailed ballots at a rate of 600 a minute, spitting out any that either were not signed or did not have a matching signature on file.

While Warlick insisted that each ballot should have been checked and initialed by three judges, “so we feel confident,” Cunningham said it takes an election judge 15 minutes to open an envelope and count by hand. Without automation, Cunningham said judges would not have been able to finish counting the ballots until February 2021.

Cunningham will face Democrat Nicolas Jimenez, who was not contested in the primary, in the Nov. 8 general election.

Brenda Schory

Brenda Schory

Brenda Schory covers Geneva, crime and courts, and features for the Kane County Chronicle