The Peoria County Election Commission met on Tuesday, September 14, with all present but Commissioner Sandra Burke arriving a few minutes late.
The commission approved a three year contract with SOE Software for online election judge training. They provided training during the COVID-19 lockdown and were found to be very useful. There will still be in person training, but the additional online feature will aid with training on the new voting system. Peoria County State’s Attorney’s office will work out contractual issues.
Two proposals had been received that day in response to the Request for Proposal for a new voting system. They were from Election Systems & Software (ES&S), the nation’s largest vendor, and Hart InterCivic. Director Tom Bride wants both vendors to come to Peoria early in October to present to the evaluation committee. He is hoping that the committee will present their choice at the November commission meeting. The decision will then go to the Peoria County committee in December and the full County Board in January.
A discussion was held about new mail drop boxes. Political party leaders were concerned about security. Director Bride wants to procure boxes through this year’s budget; number and placement can be discussed next month.
Also discussed was return postage for Vote by Mail. If a ballot comes back with inadequate postage, the Commission is required to pay it. However, 40% of mail-in ballots in the last election were returned through the drop boxes, so there was no charge. The Post Office will be reminded to put a postmark on those envelopes, even though they have postage paid printed on them.
Unfortunately, during the public comment item, members of the public were allowed to ramble on about supposed issues that occurred in other jurisdictions.
—— Irene Pritzker, Observer
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