Madison County Clerk Linda Andreas says she’s always looking for ways to improve the office, and in the first 100 days of her term, much of her focus has been on reviewing election procedures and office operations.
“I’m doing a very thorough analysis and taking a close look at everything the Clerk’s Office does, from conducting the elections to community outreach,” Andreas said.
The first election conducted under her tenure was the Consolidated Election held on April 4, which consisted mostly of races for city, village and school offices.
“Almost every single person who offered feedback about the election – from voters to candidates – said it was conducted very smoothly,” Andreas said. “I’m very fortunate to have a staff that is capable, knowledgeable, experienced and dedicated. Thanks to them, the election went off without a hitch.”
Andreas said a replacement of the county’s aging vote tabulators might be needed in the future, but she’s proceeding with caution on that.
“Before making a major decision on new tabulators, I would want to make absolutely certain that the tabulators we choose are reliable and secure,” she said. “As the County Clerk, election integrity is my foremost priority.”
For now, the Clerk’s Office has 20-plus spare tabulators, due to the number of precincts being reduced from 225 to 191 in the most recent redistricting.
Andreas said she and her staff also are working on:
- An update to the website for the Clerk’s Office to make it more user-friendly.
- Equipping two laptops that can be used at other sites to immediately register citizens to vote (for example, a voter-registration booth at the County Fair).
- A review of the use of tabulating machines for outside elections. For decades, the office has allowed tabulators to be used (under the direction of a deputy clerk) for outside elections, such as mock elections at schools or the election of employee unions’ leaders. While the practice is secure because the tabulators are essentially just counting machines, Andreas said she wants to ensure that it’s a proper use of the machines.
- Modernizing the training and instructional materials for election judges. For example, video will be incorporated into the training material, while the printed guidelines or rulebooks used by election judges at the polling places will be reformatted to make them easier to follow.
- Improving community outreach through social media.
- Working with high schools to increase participation in a program that allows high school students to serve as election judges. Andreas said the program is a good opportunity for students to learn about elections while also earning some money.
- Holding informational meetings with members of the County Board and other election officials, to provide opportunities to learn more about the election process and other operations of the Clerk’s Office.
- Conducting a detailed analysis of expenses.
Andreas said that as she continues to look for ways to improve the operation of the Clerk’s Office, she welcomes any feedback from constituents regarding elections, vital records or other duties of the office. She can be reached at (email@example.com or 618-692-6290).
Andreas was elected County Clerk in November, and was sworn into office on Dec. 1.
“Immediately after I took the oath, I walked into this office, rolled up my sleeves and got to work,” Andreas said. “I consider it a privilege and honor to serve as the County Clerk and Recorder. My pledge is that Clerk’s Office will always strive to provide the best service we possibly can to the citizens, voters and taxpayers of Madison County.”