By T. C. Mayfield, The Chicago Times
July 2, 2022
WHEATON, IL — DuPage County had the highest voter turnout in the region of nearly 22 percent in the 2022 Midterm Primary Election, combined with a successful launch of new voting equipment and the Vote Anywhere initiative.
“We broke several records for a Midterm Primary. We had over 22,000 voters during Early Voting, exceeding the 2018 Primary. We also had close to 35,000 mail ballot applications – six times the number from 2018. Increasing the number of Early Voting sites and sending mail ballot applications and election information to all registered voters paid off.” DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek said in a statement.
The 2022 Primary also saw the debut of DuPage County’s 100-percent paper voting system. The County Clerk’s office replaced its 20-year-old Diebold equipment with the Hart InterCivic Verity system for both Early Voting and Election Day. DuPage is the first county in Illinois to implement a print-on-demand system which is known for its security and transparency. In addition, Verity is never connected to the internet which makes the system impossible to hacking.
According to Kaczmarek, “Feedback has been exceptional all around – from voters, election judges and staff. We can’t begin to list all the improvements with this equipment. For one, we were just able to effortlessly tabulate write-in votes yesterday. Previously, this would have been tedious and labor-intensive.”
A major benefit of the print-on-demand system is the ability of DuPage County voters to cast ballots at any of the 263 polling places instead of their assigned precinct. Instead of pre-printed ballots at designated polling places, the new system prints off hot fresh ballots for voters all over the county.
“Enthusiasm for ‘Vote Anywhere’ has been absolutely phenomenal, from many Republican and Democratic voters and election judges. It’s taken on a life all its own. I wouldn’t be surprised if other Illinois counties begin to follow our lead.” Kaczmarek said.