Referendums offer more choices at polls

Series: Decision 2020 | Story 2

Voters in DuPage County have more than just individual candidates to select Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Earlier this year, the DuPage County Board voted to put three advisory referendums on the November 2020 General Election ballot. They are advisory because the results will not bind the board to any particular action but will rather serve to inform future board decision-making on the issues addressed.

Two questions seek the voters' opinion on law enforcement issues: one asks about funding for law enforcement while the second asks about law enforcement training methods. The third question asks voters whether the County should stockpile personal protective equipment to protect against a further outbreak of COVID-19.

In the order in which the referendum questions appear on the ballot, the first question is, "Shall DuPage County continue to consider financial support of law enforcement and public safety its top budgeting priority?"

A "yes" vote favors the county continuing to consider law enforcement and public safety its top budgeting priority, while a "no" vote advises against the county considering law enforcement and public safety its top budgeting priority.

During the board members' discussion of the questions Aug. 11,, District 3 board member Brian Krajewski asked about the "top budgeting priority" wording of this referendum.

"It sounds like we want to make it the No. 1 (priority). I believe it is very important. It may be my No. 1, but it could be No. 2 for somebody else," he said. "(Out of) 10 or 12 things that we do, and people rate those, I'm not sure that the majority are going to say it's the No. 1."

The second question is, "In order to fight the spread of COVID-19, shall DuPage County obtain a stockpile of personal protective equipment for distribution to nursing homes, first responders, health care providers and at risk communities who are not otherwise able to obtain personal protective equipment?"

The third question is, "Shall DuPage County continue to fund and support training methods that decrease the risk of injury to officers and suspects for local law enforcement agencies?"

DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin said the topics touched on by the referendum questions are very timely and will aid officials in their legislative approach to them.

"Residents have expressed a great deal of interest in these topics in recent months," Cronin said. "Voters will share their opinions about public safety, weighing in on questions of public safety and actions we take to ensure the public health. Residents will provide us important feedback as we continue to work through the challenges presented by these unprecedented times."