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Let board, not clerk, run vote: alderman

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
by STEVE PATTERSON Staff Reporter

Ald. William Beavers (7th) has some ideas for how to shake up Cook County government.
At the top of the incoming county commissioner's list: giving the boot to Clerk David Orr and his control over suburban elections.
In the wake of an election that saw suburban results slowed by computer troubles, Beavers says it's time to create a county election board -- similar to the city's -- that would run all elections and "take politics out of the election office."
Admitting Orr "ain't my favorite person" and that he "never [has] been, never will be," Beavers said he "might make some friends" with the move.
Asked whether he'd need a change in the state constitution to do that, Beavers replied "the governor's my friend. I'm all right with [House Speaker Michael] Madigan."
No place for Machine: Orr
Orr said he's open to talk of merging city and county election operations to save taxpayer money, but he swatted away the idea of a takeover.
"I don't think suburban Cook County voters want a Machine politician running their elections," Orr said.
The Beavers-Orr feud is decades old, going back to when they were aldermen during "Council Wars."
When Orr questioned the process to replace John Stroger as Democratic nominee for County Board President, Beavers called Orr a "poop butt."
But Beavers' idea may have some unlikely support: Commissioner Tony Peraica, who lost to Beavers-backed candidate Todd Stroger in last week's race for board president, said he'd also like to see county elections taken over by a board of elections.


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