The Peoria County Election Commission held its July meeting with discussion, followed by approval of bids for two pieces of equipment that would be needed for the anticipated increase in mail-in voting. First was a system for ballot packing, sorting, and scanning. The one chosen will hold 500 at a time, time stamp them, and verify signatures by a ranking system that will aid election judges. The chosen vendor, Digital Copy Systems, was considered to be the cheapest and the best. An additional license can also be purchased for approximately $16,000. The system as approved costs $49,512. The other approved purchase was for ballot packet printing and mailing services. The commission staff recommended Rumbach because it had good references and a lot of experience. Printing 40,000 ballots and envelopes and mailing them will cost $33,120.
Further expenditures needed to comply with SB1863 include: on line ballot tracking for both the office and voters (app. $2500); PPE and cleaning supplies ($20,000); four ballot drop boxes for the office and early voting sites with infrared cameras, postage and extra judges ($312,000-315,000). Peoria County has received a grant of $335,000 which must be used for vote by mail. It will cover the extra expenses.
The Commission's attorney told the members that she had been contacted by the Attorney General's office about problems arising from the Open Meetings Act and the May and June meetings. They had not had proper notification, and a complaint had been filed by a member of the media. There would be no penalty, but things would have to change going forward.
Irene Pritzker, Observer
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