Cronin Vows Action on 'Alarming' Election Commission Report

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 25, 2012 | Go to article overview

Cronin Vows Action on 'Alarming' Election Commission Report


Byline: Robert Sanchez bsanchez@dailyherald.com By Robert Sanchez bsanchez@dailyherald.com

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin is promising to take "swift action" to address issues raised in a report critical of the county election commission's policies and practices.

The report, released Tuesday by the consulting firm of Crowe Horwath LLP, is suggesting that improvements be made to the DuPage County Election Commission's credit card, ethics and procurement policies to safeguard the county's financial assets. For example, the consultants are recommending the commission review all of its existing contracts to make sure they were properly awarded.

Cronin on Tuesday said the report is an "unprecedented opportunity" for the taxpayers and voters to look into the day-to-day operation and policies of the commission. The findings are "alarming," he said.

"In light of these findings and the disturbing policies and practices that continue at the election commission, I am prepared to take swift action," Cronin said, but he did not elaborate.

While the election commission was formed in 1974 as an independent board, the county board chairman appoints members of the three-person panel. State law requires both political parties be represented, but Republicans hold two of the three seats.

"Due to the very nature of its purpose, the election commission should represent the highest standards of transparency and accessibility," Cronin said.

Commission officials are responding by saying the report wasn't carefully fact-checked and that it contains "numerous glaring misstatements of fact and misunderstandings of state law."

But the written statement signed by all three commissioners -- J.P. "Rick" Carney, Jeanne McNamara and Charlotte Mushow -- didn't indicate what parts of the report they're challenging.

"We will respond to this report in greater detail in coming weeks and will assess any procedural operations that need tightening and continue to work with county government where possible to serve taxpayers better," the statement reads.

The commission organizes, executes and documents all the local, state and federal elections within DuPage. …

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