Nunda 19 Judge Relates Election Problems

An email to McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan, the information in which would have been put on the suggestion sheet that used to be included in precinct materials given to every precinct:

Mchenry County Clerk
Mary McClellan

Hi Mary:

I am Elmer Zarndt Judge for Nunda 19.

Us Judges were very on happy with things went at the election>

Stating in your assignment letter you stated ” The following is a list of Judges you will be working with in your precinct as well as who the Technical Judge and Deputy Registrar will be.”

Then you said “We would like to have all judges become a part of the set up process and meet anyone that might be new.”

The only names on the list were Laura Mazrin, and James Wieser.

I picked up Nunda 19’s paper work, and contacted the other two judges about setup.

None had the names for the TJ or the DR, I had to call your office (which I should not had to do) to get their name and number,

which after I got their name and number, I called about set up.

At your classes we were told that the Technical Judge would be responsible for picking up and returning the Voter Books and the Voting machines, Jie Kim did pick them up, and tried to set up the Touch Screen, we had to help her (she did not even know where to plug in the power cord) us judges had set up the Tabulator and our Voter Books our selves.

I set up 19’s Voter books, when I turned them on to test, one was humming, if was the printer, a label came off and rapped around the exit roller and jammed, It had to have happened before we received it because none of the other printers tried to print.

I got most of the paper out except some stuck to the roller, I did not know how to take the roller out.

Then Jie tried she couldn’t either.

She did not know what to do, I told her to call your office after 4:00 AM.

I started to call your office a 4:15 AM, which at the class you said you would be there, all I got was a message office is closed, will open at 8:00 AM.

Tuesday morning when we got to sites at 5:00 AM and started to get ready to open things started to fall apart.

First the Technical Judge did not show up, 19 had a voter book down, we could not get the Touch Screen up running, 17 could not get any of there voter books running, your chat site was not open, and could not get a hold of your office, your Deputy Judge know less then us judges.

By this time it was 6:00 am we had to open as best we could. We tried all day left messages, on a couple of occasions one of us did get to talk to someone and was told there would be help out soon.

A young fellow did show up about 8:30, all he did was take one of 19’s working voter and placed in 17, which gave both 17 and 19 ONE book.

Since everything was going through only one book they started to run out of paper, we had to start taking the printer out of one of the down books to keep going.

At 6:00 19 had only one book that would print out a label when the working book ran out of paper, so we made a decision to look up the voter then had write out the affidat by hand.

We had a few voters that need to be register but could not because the Deputy Registrar could not get on to do it.

Your chat site came up when you started sending messages the polls would stay open until 8:30.

About 8:00 we started to talk how was going to take the electronic equipment back since we had NO TECHICAL Judge, I called your office to my surplice I got to someone and told her about the situation,
she had to check with some one for a answer, she came back and asked if we could bring them in.

I could have gotten all them on my truck but I do not think you would have liked it if they got all wet in the heavy rain we were having when we closed, and my other two judges did not have enough room for all the equipment, so I told the judges from 17 that they had to take their books and one of the voting machines, they said no they did not pick them up and they were not going to take them back.

I said we do not have room for all, it was either they take their share or wait until someone cane get there from your office to pick them up, that convinced them to take them.

One more thing with all the trouble we had, the extra work Laura and I had to do the extra time we spent, all the phone calls we made short handed we did not even have time to use the washroom or eat a lunch without having voters in front of us.

James Wieser was not much help.

I think Laura And I should get compensated for the extra work.

And the judges from 17 should get compensated for the extra time and returning equipment they didn’t have to return because of the no show of the Tech judge.

Nunda 19 Election Judge

Elmer Zarndt

[email protected]


Nunda 19 Judge Relates Election Problems — 17 Comments

  1. In summary: The voters made a big mistake in 2014!

    I will start with a question:

    Was the election judge suggestion sheet not included in the packet distributed to each poll?

    If not, maybe someone can get a list of the election judges plus contact information and request feedback from every judge.

    Actually, this request should come from the judge who signed off on the appointment of the election judges.

    Maybe that same judge could issue a contempt judgement against the County Clerk?

    Elsewhere on this blog I have seen references to how corrupt our County is.

    I constantly read the same about our State government.

    I become more convinced each day that we do have nefarious activity in government but the number one problem is the voter and those who do not even vote.

    The voters approved the State Constitution which is directly responsible for the pension mess (guaranteed pensions plus a guaranteed increase of 3 % per year).

    Then the voters follow that up by continually electing State Reps and Senators who raid the pension fund to provide funding for social services for illegal aliens.

    In this County, the voters continue to send Jack Franks to Springfield.

    This is very sad.

    In this County, the voters approved the Valley Hi tax, the 708 Board tax, the Senior tax.

    Now they complain about how high the property tax is!!

    Just this election, they approved a tax increase for Hebron Township and for Johnsburg!!!

    In this County, the voters continue to elect to the County Board people continually approve wage increase for County employees: Mary McCann, Mike Skala are examples.

    All that said, there is hope.

    This time we elected a good person for County Recorder.

    We got rid of Anna May Miller and Sue Draffkorn.

  2. In the interest of transparency, based on his voting record, Elmer was a Democrat judge.

  3. Wow, just wow!

    When I read the part that said …

    ‘your Deputy Judge know less than us judges’

    … that said it all right there.

  4. On Tuesday, I was taken aback by the fact that there were no poll watchers.

    It was the first question I asked when coming up to the sign-in table.

    Then it struck me as seriously queer that there was not one person I recognized here. (Been voting in this precinct for forty years.)

    No regulars; all totally new strangers.

    They were very nice ladies; but no one I had ever met before.

    That was odd because the people that had been there previously had very staunch attitudes about serving every election day as it was their duty.

    The black machines were alarming; and when I remarked on that, there was a cacophony of complaints from all the ladies sitting behind them.

    The actual desks for voting looked like they had grabbed them from the junk pile.

    No privacy at all and just haphazardly put in place.

    To top it all off, my husband was never offered a sticker.

    This letter of complaint from a judge does not surprise me.

    It just fortifies my odd feelings that something was seriously wrong on this particular voting day.

  5. The County Clerk minimizes the problems that occurred during the March 15th election in the press and in the press release on the County Clerk website.

    How does the public get the real story

    From letters such as this, comments in blog posts, and Keven Craver of the Northwest Herald newspaper articles.

    Hopefully we will see more letters and more posts so we can get the whole story.

  6. Re: “If not, maybe someone can get a list of the election judges plus contact information and request feedback from every judge. ”

    I have heard the GOP chairperson has a list of the all the election judges.

    If so, I am sure Mr. Bissett / Yensen has a list also.

    Maybe both Chairman can ask each judge for feedback?

  7. Lies, Lies, Falsehoods, Prevarications, and still more lies out of the Clerk’s Office!!!

    Why did she hire her husband to be the ‘Techy” for the fiasco.

    If she fires him will he file for divorce???

    I’m sick of all the nepotism in this rotten county ….starting w/ the Miller Family Dynasty …. those mooks actually think they are hereditarily entitled to Township jobs … like a British peerage!

    They regard themselves as the nobility …. we are just serfs!

    Down with incompetence and nepotism!

    Down with McClellanism! Down w/ the Millers!

    Cleanse our County of mookism!

  8. What is worse is that the county board turned the meeting into abut themselves and their precious pensions.

    How many other judges have stories like this?

    How many voters feel disenfranchised?

    Instead of grilling the clerk and getting answers for the people they grilled the IMRF representative.

    Instead of trying to find out why the election was a complete disaster the county board circled the wagons around themselves.

    And then there was the one board member who spoke against the pensions.

    While noble, you are an idiot.

    You will never win another election.

    Can you imagine the board members talking amongst themselves?

    They will rack up 1000 hours talking about this instead of county business.

    Mary McClellan is the reAL winner.

    Not one question about her lousy election and all about the county board.

    I have no faith in the county board.

    23 self centered ego maniacs and one political idiot who will get crushed by the establishment.

    Thanks for saying what you said, but you are an idiot.

  9. Well, there’s a start, Kelly.

    Who wants to poll all the judges? Volunteers?

  10. If they haven’t already the county board should put an agenda item in a soon to be held meeting to discuss problems in the March 15, 2015 primary election.

    It’s pretty easy and inexpensive for the county board to solicit feedback in the form of an email or call or letter to each county judge.

    Keeping the request for feedback outside the County elections office prevents cover-up, even if the information could be obtained via FOIA request.

    There’s already evidence the county clerk is minimizing the breadth and depth of the problem, by comparing the County Clerk press release to the Kevin Craver Northwest Herald article and the letter above.

    Unsolicited feedback can be sent not only to the county clerk, but also to the local State Representative, this blog, and Kevin Craver at the Northwest Herald.

  11. It does appear the Mr. McSweeney has requested a hearing on the topic.

    This hearing should not be held by the Board but as Mr. McSweeney has requested by the State election commission.

    Personally I would like to see the federal government involved because this was a federal election and civil rights were violated.

    Rest assured if this happened in St. Clair County, Jesse would be on this like uno what.

    Where is Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam on this?

  12. Wow.

    Time to pull out the torches and pitchforks.

    How about instead of lobbing bombs, launching costly investigations & hearings that won’t change a damned thing how about all of you that are so knowledgeable and capable sign up to be election judges next time around.

    Don’t want to throw anyone in front of the train, but you have 500-1000 judges in 200+ precincts and something sounds like it technically went wrong in small percentage.

    The check in process was new from what I can recall and it sounds like that is what went wrong.

    McSweeney, Gasser, Provenzano and now Schofield are making noise… 3 of the 4 are County residents, and I suppose 2018 candidates?

    Gasser is McSweeney’s McHenry County troll.

    The democrats are making noise that they knew (?) that things were going to go wrong.

    I’m all for a fair election and if there were issues (and there were without question) then certainly they ought to be addressed.

    The Clerk hasn’t denied that there were issues, nor has she said that she was not going to do anything about them.

  13. As an election judge, I served in four elections.

    The first three while Katherine Schultz held office.

    I was contacted in January to serve as an election judge.

    I didn’t know, nor, was I told the responsibilities were changing among judges; technical and deputy registrar were now included.

    I learned of the changes during this years training session when Meghan Honea directed all tech people to go into another room for training.

    In previous years election judges were responsible for all duties; administrative and technical.

    I contacted and confirmed with other judges, they also didn’t know changes were made.

    The tech person assigned to our precinct didn’t know how to set up the touch screen or tabulator machines; another judge set the tabulator machine the night before and Ed Gill came in hours after the polls had opened to get the touch screen working and to put correct labels in the E-PollBooks.

    Throughout most of the day our tech person sat in back doing her school homework and was no help at all.

    Speaking with other judges I was told their tech people didn’t serve any purpose.

    They mostly sat around doing nothing.

    The wife of a committeemen, currently in office, who served as a tech, was asked by a judge if she would change paper in one of the machines, she told that judge she didn’t know how.

    A comment our tech person made when asked to do something said she did not receive in-depth training.

    I arrived at my precinct at 5:00 a.m. and didn’t leave until 9:30 p.m., it was a very long day.

    I recently found out how much the tech people are going to be paid versus the judges who served in this very stressful day.

    it is so unfair and angers me that election judges are paid $25.00 to attend training and $140.00 for serving.

    To those of you whom served as judges, the tech people receive, $75.00 for attending training and $225.00 for showing up on Election Day.

    I only know of a handful that didn’t serve any purpose and will be paid $300.00 for doing absolutely nothing.

    I agree, every judge served should be asked how they really feel.

    I would like to know who approved this and how it could happen considering the budget crisis Illinois is currently in.

    Is it nepotism?

    How many tech people know someone who works for McHenry County?

  14. I have been an election judge since 2007.

    I served as a tech judge this election because I saw an ad in the NW Herald the County Clerk ran to recruit tech judges and deputy registrars.

    Several other people in my tech class also were currently judges and saw the ad.

    I set up the touch screen, accu-vote and computers.

    Tech judges were supposed to be at the ballot box during the election, and that’s what I did.

    After the polls were closed, I ran the reports, broke down the equipment and returned it.

    Our big problems were they assigned us a deputy registrar that had taken the judge class, not the registrar class.

    We had no registrar at all for 2 precincts and sent several people to other locations when they wanted to register.

    Also, the several times we called the clerk’s office we got either no answer or voice mail.

    Twice we sent a judge to Woodstock to get answers to questions.

    We were told if we needed to register someone, call the office and they would walk us through it.

    How, when no one was answering the phones and no one was available after 4:30, I don’t know.

    Of all the elections I worked, this one had the most problems and the least support for judges.

  15. I have a subscription with the NW Herald and didn’t come across an ad recruiting tech judges or deputy registrars.

    I thank you for taking your job seriously!

  16. We hear from three more people here.

    One in the story and two in comments.

    Keep the testimonials coming and send them to your State Rep, Senator, and County Board member so they are aware also.

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