Earlier I ran the following information I picked up last Wednesday’s meeting of the McHenry County Democratic Party Central Committee:
Democrats’ Take on Election Day
Last night at the McHenry County Democratic Party’s Central Committee meeting, Chairman Mike Bisset had a different story.
“They knew it was going to happen.
“Yesterday was not a surprise to me.
“Yesterday morning I got the call:
‘What the hell is going on?’
“I called Lou [Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney]
“We need to get a court order to keep the polls open.”
There was more than the above, however.
Let me lay some of it out.
“You get the kind of government you deserve sometimes,” Bissett continued.
“That’s the kind of government people want in this county.
“Democrats are different. We think government can work.
“They really messed this election up.
“If I were a candidate, I wouldn’t trust any of the results I’ve seen so far.
“I’m not claiming fraud, technical issues, not enough judges.
“The buck stops at the top.
“The County Clerk screwed up.”
He said he had 50-60 complaints.
“I’ve been on the phones all day.
“We need to understand why things were as bad as they were yesterday.
“This is one of the parts of government you can’t get wrong.
“You can’t get this wrong.
“We don’t know what the people said yet.”
Various participants in the election then chimed in.
“‘Partially in,’ what does that mean?” one woman asked.
A judge said that the “after 7 PM votes” were “still in limbo.”
He added that his precinct had problems with the touch screen.
A McHenry 33 judge reported “a bagful of ballots with no instructions.”
The Dorr 12 Precinct Committeeman complained that the County Clerk’s Office wouldn’t answer the phone.
Bissett observed that they were “not answered because nobody was there to answer the phone.”
Bissett announced that the annual party convention to select officers and slate candidates where there are now none
A Woodstock activist asked if there was “any criminal negligence.”
Bissett suggested there were “some other issues, civil rights issues.”
McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady pointed out that some judges allowed the after 7 PM provisional ballots, which were supposed to be put in a separate envelope, to be put in the counting machine, which she explained would not allow them to be backed out, if votes after 7 PM were held invalid.
A judge from Algonquin 35, whose polling place was in the basement of the Home State Bank on Route 14, didn’t learn about the polling hour extension, except from an email from Bisset.
“We made the decision to put them through the OptiScanner. We put three through.”
The Democratic Party’s Kristina Zahorik summarized the problems with the election, which started before early voting:
- a lack of communication with the County Clerk’s Office
- a lack of communication and training for all levels
- equipment failure
- set-up problems
- lack of material
- people, e.g., a precinct with only one judge
- people not following the law
Another official complained about “opening the compute and it was a brick.”
It couldn’t talk to the data base.
Objections were voiced about requiring identification.
One person said that both the McHenry and Nunda Township web sites said that ID was required.
Former Democratic Party Chairman John Bartman said, “The consulting company should not be paid.”
He said it was “the worst election in 40 years.”
When a 17-year old came in to vote, the judges objected in one precinct.
(17-year olds were allowed to vote if they would be 18 by the General Election Day.)
A woman was told to change his birth year.
They gave him a GOP ballot.
The teen tried to change it to a Democratic Party ballot, but the computer wouldn’t accept the change.
“The training was minimal,” Mark Ruda said. “Two hours on a Saturday.”
“I think they need to look at the whole system,” Bisset said.
“Overall, it was a complete mess.
“She needs to change and, if that means she has to leave, that’s OK with me.”
Bisset reminded those in attendance of the major fundraiser of the year, the Jefferson Dinner, which will be held April 24th.
150-200 are expected and Democratic Party U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth and State Senator Daniel Biss are speakers.
Turning to the need for more candidates, Bisset admitted there the party still has “a lot of holes to be filled” and 75 days to do it.
“We need more candidates.
“If we have a candidate, we’ll talk.”
Kerri Barber, District 1 County Board candidate, was introduced.
She is a local business owner.
The Chairman pointed to Dominique and Ken Miller, a daughter-father team, both of whom are running for the County Board.
Dominique identified herself as a local business owner, while Ken said he was a strong union man.
Intending to get on the ballot in District 4 was Andy Breen.
He introduced another young man, but I didn’t catch his name.