Who’s on the Ballot: What You Need to Know About The Race For The Lake County Recorder’s Office

Ayesha Mohammed, Staff Writer

Recorder of Deeds | Lake County, IL

One of the many local races you will be voting for on your ballot will determine who will win office as Lake County’s Recorder of Deeds. For the past 24 years, Democrat Mary Ellen Vanderventer has served in this office, but this election she is being challenged by Republican candidate Emilia Czyszczon.

According to the office’s website, the mission of the recorder’s office is to “record, preserve, and provide access to public records” in an accurate way. Your vote this year will be extra important however, considering you’ll also be voting on a referendum to rid Lake County of this office. It would instead merge with the Lake County Clerk’s Office by the end of 2022 to make it more efficient for community members who would rather not need to interact with multiple offices. Both candidates are in support of the merge despite the fact that it would cut their four year term in half. Here’s a little more on both candidates and their views.


Incumbent Democrat Mary Ellen Vanderventer

Mary Ellen Vanderventer has worked as a Recorder for the past 24 years and is the first woman to have been elected for the position. She is currently seeking her seventh term. When asked about her major contributions as Recorder, Vanderventer brought up her dedication to keeping the office up to date with technology through implementation of programs like Property Check, a 24/7 program that allows you to receive texts and emails if a document has been recorded against a specific name or address. Another sign of the technological advancement of the office under Vanderventer is the fact that 50% of the office’s daily recordings are electronic and made available to the public on the same day seamlessly. The office under Vanderventer has also worked diligently with the Veteran Affairs Commission to file more than 9,000 records pertaining to veterans. Vanderventer made sure to address the additional benefits and resources the office gives to aid military personnel and senior citizens. She also made sure to mention that she was on the road often and giving lots of speeches at Rotary meetings, homeowner’s associations, municipal and township gatherings as well as senior events and added how much she enjoys communicating with her constituents. Vanderventer has also expressed her belief that she is the most qualified person to facilitate the merging of the Lake County Clerk’s Office and the Lake County Recorder’s Office considering her county experience began in the clerk’s office when she worked there for ten years as Lake County Elections Administrator. You can find out more about her office at https://www.lakecountyil.gov/258/Recorder-of-Deeds and read an interview with her at https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20200922/mary-ellen-vanderventer-candidate-profile-lake-county-recorder-of-deeds-.


Republican Challenger Emilia Czyszczon

Emilia Czyszczon believes Illinois, not just the county, is in need of new leadership and wants to be that change. As a project management consultant for many companies, she believes she has the experience necessary to make the Recorder’s office more efficient. Czyszczon has been a major voice for the effort to eliminate the office, citing that it would help the residents of Lake County with their tax burden and drive efficiency up with a smaller government. Before the pandemic, she had begun a petition to gather lots of signatures in favor of merging the offices. She has also repeatedly said she is not running to be a career politician, but rather to serve the best interests of the people. Her main focus if elected would be to make the consolidation of the Recorder’s office with the Clerk’s office an easier goal. She would spend time cross-training employees to get them used to what their new duties may be if the merge is passed. If the merge is not passed, she has expressed her main goal will be to increase the efficiency of the office and modernize it further for the ease of Lake County community members. You can find out more about her at https://www.emiliaforrecorder.com/ or read an interview with her at https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20200922/emilia-czyszczon-candidate-profile-lake-county-recorder-of-deeds-.