Drainage District Elections
How do Drainage Elections work?
Landowners may become Drainage Commissioners in one of two ways. They are either appointed by the Champaign County Board or elected via the process described on this site.
Drainage District Elections are processed through the office of the Circuit Clerk, as opposed to all the other elections, which are handled by the office of the County Clerk. The drainage election process takes several months each year. Preparation for the upcoming election, which is held in September, begins in June and the process continues through December. It ends with the issuance of the Recapitulation List of Certificate of Levy of Annual Maintenance Assessment for all districts.
Each district has a municipal corporation file number that may look something like 97-MC-213. The first number represents the year the file was initiated. The following letters (MC) are the type (Municipal Corporation). The final number represents the order in which the case was opened. In this example, this was the 213th Municipal Corporation registered in 1997.
In July, an updated Calendar of Events is mailed to the district spokesperson, secretary or designation commissioner in charge of communications. This is not always the same commissioner elected the previous year. The calendar of events is helpful in keeping the district commissioners organized each year.
Elections are held on the first Tuesday in September and polls are to be open from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. unless extended by the Commissioners.
Who may vote? Every adult owner of land in each district, whether residing within the district or not, is entitled to vote in the election of the district.
The Poll Book and Ballots are to be returned to the office of the Circuit Clerk within 48 hours (by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday) of the election. The election judges (commissioners) must return them if coming in person. Some districts opt to return the election materials via mail. In this case, the forms must be notarized locally and the mail must be postmarked within two (2) days of the election.
The Oath and Bond must be returned two (2) weeks after the election. The Oath needs to be administered by the Champaign County Circuit Clerk or by a designee of the Circuit Clerk to the newly elected (or re-elected Commissioner(s) OR it may be administered by a Notary Public prior to arriving at the Courthouse. The Bond must be signed by ALL THREE (3) Drainage District Commissioners as sureties of their respective district. The bond will not be valid unless each signature is notarized. Please do not return the bond to our office without all three signatures.
If the commissioner chooses to deliver the materials in person, please note that 1) Ballots, envelopes, oaths, bonds, and all other pertinent information should be dropped office at the far west window of the Circuit Clerk’s office, and 2) Courthouse Security does not allow cell phones or other electronics to enter the building.
Invoices for the printing, publicizing, and processing will be mailed to the designated Drainage District representative by October. Remittance within 30 days of receipt is appreciated.
What if the Commissioner that is up for election doesn’t want to run again?
Can a non-land owner be a commissioner if he tends to the ground for a relative?
What should we do if the commissioner that is up for election will be out of state?
The Champaign County Circuit Clerk does not provide legal advice. We only accept the filings and administer the elections. Please contact your attorney with any questions beyond this.
Should you have questions regarding the processing of drainage election forms, please call our office at:
Please direct all correspondence to
Champaign County Circuit Clerk
101 E. Main Street
Urbana, IL 61801