Both candidates in the Democratic primary for DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder said the public should be better informed about the office.
It’s how they would accomplish that goal that separates primary candidates Denise Ii and Trent Taylor.
Ii, 61, who has been the Sandwich city clerk since 2009, will face off against Taylor, 37, a title examiner specialist from DeKalb, on March 18. The winner will face sitting County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson in the November election. Johnson was appointed to the position in September to finish the term of John Acardo.
The county clerk is responsible for keeping vital records about residents and businesses, overseeing elections, recording deeds and other services.
Both Taylor and Ii cite their familiarity with the office. Ii has experience as a city clerk as well as more than 20 years working in local government.
Taylor, who works for Fox Title in Sycamore, noted his working knowledge of the activity in the clerk and recorder’s office.
Both gave examples where the clerk and recorder’s office could be more accessible to the public. Ii said the DeKalb County website site contains information, but is difficult to navigate. She suggested county leaders work together to upgrade the software and streamline the site in order to make it more user friendly.
Taylor also suggested the system should be improved, pointing to 2017, when the contract for the current online system expires. He contended improving information available to the public is critical to the role of clerk. Taylor’s focus for increasing visibility and communication in the clerk’s office was on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which he said could be used to coax younger people to the polls.
“The clerk can’t make people vote, but they can make people more aware,” Taylor said.
If elected, Taylor said he also would focus on providing friendly customer service in the office, Taylor added.
Ii mentioned younger voters, but also said the clerk should address voter education for the elderly because because of changes to the voting process. Re-evaluating crowded polling places and visiting with election judges also topped her list of priorities.
“I believe the voting process needs to be tweaked a little bit,” Ii said. “It needs to be easier for voters.”