Will County Clerk honored for ‘Excellence in County Government’
TTW Staff Report | 10/27/2021, 6 a.m.
The Illinois State Crime Commission announces that Will County Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry has been chosen to receive its honor for Excellence in County Government at its upcoming dinner reception at Barraco’s in Orland Park on Nov. 4.
The Illinois State Crime Commission selected County Clerk Staley Ferry for her skillful coordination of the 2020/2021 elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the accuracy and speed in which she posted elections results during each of those elections, and for transparency in providing important election information to the public. She also was recognized for expanding Early Voting locations across Will County and for cost-reduction measures that have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I am humbled to be recognized by the Illinois State Crime Commission with this distinguished honor for work performed during my first term,” County Clerk Staley Ferry said. “My directive to my staff when I came into office at the end of 2018 was to think creatively and to work tirelessly to serve our voters. The COVID-19 Pandemic put my entire team to the test, but we met every challenge together. This is an honor I share with my incredibly talented and resourceful staff.”
Illinois State Crime Commission Executive Director Jerry Joyce said: “Transparency and accountability are paramount to the integrity of the election process. Faced with unprecedented challenges this past election cycle, Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry proactively and successfully met those challenges. Her leadership of the Will County Clerk’s Office during these trying times has earned her the gratitude of the Illinois State Crime Commission (ISCC) and the citizens of Will County. For her service to Will County and for safeguarding the integrity of the election process, the Illinois State Crime Commission recognizes Clerk Lauren Staley Ferry by presenting her our Excellence in County Government honor.”
During the 2020 Presidential Election, County Clerk Staley Ferry successfully managed the response to a 310-percent increase in Vote By Mail Ballot requests over the 2016 Presidential Election. There were 123,779 requests for Vote By Mail Ballots in 2020 compared to 30,192 in 2016. The dramatic increase was sparked by health concerns during the pandemic and emergency legislation that required county clerks to mail ballot applications to a majority of registered voters.
The Will County Clerk also:
• Exceeded her goal for accurate, early, and efficient reporting of Election Night results in every election she has supervised since 2019.
• Added three additional Early Voting sites in areas that are either underserved or have high volumes of voters, including locations in Plainfield, Steger, and at the Spanish Community Center on Joliet’s East Side.
• Published detailed public election reports, the first in the history of the Will County Clerk’s Office, to keep voters and elected officials informed of important election developments.
• Saved nearly $300,000 in postage costs by reducing the size of Voter Registration Cards and consolidating state-mandated mass election mailings.
• Worked in a bipartisan fashion with the Will County Board to secure unanimous support for a $1.9 million Vote By Mail automation program to improve the efficiency and further enhance the security of the Vote By Mail process.
• Created detailed public health protocols to minimize the health risks to voters and Election Judges in the Polling Places in addition to her office staff during the pandemic.
Outside of the elections field, County Clerk Staley Ferry will save potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars by bringing a program to digitize birth, marriage, and death certificates in house. The in-house program protects important Vital Records because it avoids transferring documents off site to a private company for scanning. She also brought the County Clerk’s Office into the modern era by accepting credit cards to pay for copies of Vital Records and other documents.
The Illinois State Crime Commission / Police Athletic League is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to reduce juvenile delinquency and promote positive interaction between law enforcement and communities. The Illinois State Crime Commission for years has recognized public officials at every level for their outstanding service to their communities.
For information about the upcoming dinner reception, visit www.illinoiscrimecommission.com/.