QUINCY — Area county clerks are anticipating several issues with pushing the 2022 primary election to next summer, which would happen if Senate Bill 825 was signed into law.
The bill, if signed, would move the 2022 primary to June 28. Therefore, the date for candidates to begin circulating nominating petitions would be pushed to Jan. 13, the deadline to file petitions would be pushed to March 14 and the deadline to file objections would be moved to March 21.
These provisions would be repealed in 2023.
Pike County Clerk Natalie Roseberry said one issue she foresees with the new election date is the availability of election judges.
“That is vacation time for a lot of people,” Roseberry said. “Mitigating that will be one of the big things.”
Roseberry added that delaying the election to June would offer a tight window to address any issues from the primary before heading straight into the general election.
Adams County Clerk and Recorder Ryan Niekamp concurred that election judges taking vacations will present a problem but performing an outreach program to schedule judges ahead of the election could mitigate the situation. Regardless, Niekamp added that he is confident his office can work around this variable.
“We’re going to be planned and we’re going to be ready for the election as we always are and we’ll be there,” Niekamp said.
The bill also would require enhanced cybersecurity measures, including monthly vulnerability scans against cyber breaches and biennial risk assessments through the Illinois Board of Elections’ Cyber Navigator Program.
Niekamp said cybersecurity has been one of his main focuses since taking office and the county is constantly updating its IT infrastructure and performing audits thanks in part to the Cyber Navigator Program.
Niekamp added that the county has received between $16,000 and $19,000 annually in grant funding from the Help America Vote Act to help pay for IT upgrades.
Roseberry said her county gotten ahead of the proposed cybersecurity measures with the help of HAVA security grants.
“I don’t think Pike County will have that big of a shock,” Roseberry said.
Senate Bill 825 passed out of both legislative chambers on Monday but has not been sent to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk as of Friday afternoon.