UNDERSTANDING THE ISSUE
On the ballot in the city of Bloomington there will be the following referendum that will be a binding referendum and take place immediately if passed. Here are the issues surrounding this referendum.
Referendum: Shall the city election law be rejected?
The purpose of this referendum is to save taxpayers significant dollars by eliminating the City of Bloomington Election Commission. This will do away with the duplication of effort that results from having two election authorities within the same county. A majority YES vote would automatically revert the electoral process for the city to the office of the McLean County Clerk, which handles these duties for every other municipality and the rest of the county.
Out of the 102 counties in Illinois, 95 of them already use this same proposed system—all municipal electoral processes are handled by their respective counties.
A YES vote for this referendum is a vote for smaller, more efficient government, significant tax savings, and more direct accountability to the voters.
Details and Benefits
- Currently: The City of Bloomington election commissioners are appointed by a partisan judge. The commissioners hire a staff to run the election system.
- Benefits of consolidation: Consolidation would remove the system of appointment and allow voters direct control over who oversees the election process—the person in charge of this important process should be elected, not appointed. That principle is followed in 95 out of 102 counties.
- Budget Management
- Currently: The budget allotted to the City of Bloomington Election Commission is approximately $500,000. The commission maintains a reserve fund of over $300,000, which is about 41% of its budget. In comparison, the county maintains a reserve of only 15% for the entire county budget.
- Benefits of consolidation: Consolidation would shift the commission’s $500,000 budget and excessive reserve to the stewardship of the county. In addition, because the county maintains a lower percentage of the budget in reserve, consolidation would allow more direct control over the budget through the county system.
- Savings for Taxpayers
- Currently: The office of the McLean County Clerk already handles the electoral process for the Town of Normal and the rest of the county.
- Benefits of Consolidation: Consolidating into a single system would create savings for the taxpayer through overall staff reduction and greater efficiency in budget management.
- Consistency and Accountability
- Currently: The county and the city maintain separate processes, equipment, and staff, which is a duplication of effort and blurs the lines of accountability for citizens.
- Benefits of Consolidation: Consolidation would downsize our government bodies. This would eliminate duplication of effort, standardize the electoral process, and create a clear line of accountability for our elections across all of McLean county.