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City Still Reviewing Election Issue

Macomb, IL – It appears Macomb has a bit more time to figure out what needs to be done to change the date for city elections.

The city thought it needed to get its ducks in a row by the end of the month. The cut-off date for local governments to place a referendum on the February 2010 ballot is November 30.

But County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes says the city could place a referendum on the November 2010 ballot. DeJaynes says if voters approve the change then she can still implement it in time for the next city elections, which take place in 2011.

First Ward Alderman Ryan Hansen says City Clerk Melanie Falk and City Attorney Liz Wilhelm are still reviewing what needs to be done to alter the city charter in order to move the election date. It's not known if a referendum is needed.

Hansen is pushing for the change. "I promise that I'm not going to let this one go and the city council will have a chance to vote on it," says Hansen.

He says the change will save thousands of dollars for county taxpayers.

Right now, the city holds a primary in February of odd-numbered years. A run-off, if needed, takes place in April.

The February primary is the only election in McDonough County in odd-numbered years. All other local government elections are held in April.

DeJaynes says Macomb's primary is costly per vote. For example:

*The February 2009 primary cost $12,843. Just 207 ballots were cast, which means it cost almost $58 per vote. Only Macomb was served, but all of the county's taxpayers had to help pay the bill.

*The April 2009 election cost the county around $25,000. 3,222 ballots were cast for a cost of $7.75 per vote.

A February primary would still be held if four or more candidates run for the same position.