Bloomington Voters Reject Question To Dissolve Election Commission | WGLT

Bloomington Voters Reject Question To Dissolve Election Commission

Nov 6, 2018

Bloomington voters want to keep their own election commission.

The ballot question on whether to dissolve the Bloomington Election Commission failed to pass Tuesday, according to preliminary vote totals. Only 44 percent of voters voted “yes” on the ballot question.

The McLean County Libertarian Party launched the effort to dissolve the BEC and fold its duties into the McLean County clerk’s office. The McLean County Republicans later joined in the effort.

Both parties touted the move as a cost-saving measure for county government, though Libertarian Party Chairman Steve Suess said he was neutral about the possibility of a countywide election commission, an idea many Democrats have endorsed.

Suess said the Libertarian Party was given legal guidance that a succinctly-worded ballot question would spare it from a possible legal challenge, though he acknowledged the phrasing “Shall the city election law be rejected?” might confuse or deter voters from making a selection.

County GOP Chair Connie Beard acknowledged boosters of the measure needed to do more voter education.

"We realize that people found that to be a very strange wording. Shall the city election law be rejected? Your initial reaction is well no. I don't want to lose my election law," said Beard.

Suess said he will not let the matter drop and hopes for a multi party effort in the future.

"I look forward to achieving a merger in some other way. if that takes changing state law and getting a county wide independent authority, fine. I just want one election authority," said Suess.

The McLean County League of Women Voters acknowledged a merger of the two election authorities would likely save money but suggested a countywide election commission would demand greater accountability of those who manage our elections. 

The ballot measure also survived a court challenge as one of the BEC commissioners claimed many of the signatures petitioners presented were invalid.

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