McClellan Offers Affirmative Defense

A press release from McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan:

ePoll Book Vendor Glitch Leads to 90 Minutes Extra Voting Time; Record turnout generates communication concerns

On March 15, 2016, McHenry County experienced a record voter turnout in a Primary with 87,672 votes cast, collected and counted–a 42.73% turnout.

Mary McClellan

Mary McClellan

After polls opened on time, a small number of precincts experienced delays when using the new state-mandated electronic ePoll Books, which did not affect votes cast counted.

The ePoll Books are used for the registration process only. Out of 212 precincts, fewer than 20 were affected and the issue was quickly resolved.

Once these issues were identified, County Clerk McClellan requested, on her own initiative, that a Judge enter an order allowing polls to remain open after 7:00 p.m.

This extension was provided so that every voter who wished had the opportunity to vote.

One of the biggest issues on Election Day was communication with the Judges and the Election Headquarters. The Clerk’s received a staggering number of phone calls.

Clerk McClellan has already formulated a resolution for this in the future to create a communication officer in charge of fielding calls.

On Election Day the Clerk’s office had a staff of 40 election specialists who were sent to precincts to resolve any issues.

“It is my biggest concern that the voter have the right to vote and I will do whatever it takes to make this process better. I apologies to any voter or official who was unable to immediately communicate with me or a member or my staff,” McClellan said.

“While simple software glitches caused a delay, the integrity of the voting process was never jeopardized and this was and will remain my highest priority.

“I would welcome any review of my processes or the events of Election Day by the State Board of Election,” McClellan said.

“I am humbled by all the wonderful people who worked for the Clerk’s office and the people who volunteered their time. This record election would not have been possible without them,” McClellan said.

= = = = =

Democrats’ Take on Election Day

McHenry County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Bisset addresses Wednesday night's Central Committee meeting about the Election screw ups.

McHenry County Democratic Party Chairman Mike Bisset addresses Wednesday night’s Central Committee meeting about the Election screw ups.

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.”


McClellan Offers Affirmative Defense — 10 Comments

  1. She keeps accentuating the record primary turnout. What the H is she going to do during the General when turnout could be double? In 2012 the previous Clerk handled an election for 134,550 ballots. This election had less than 90,000!

    She never mentioned the shortage of judges!! Some precincts only had three!

    I see no mention of a backup system when the electronic poll books fail to function.

    I see no mention of the FACT that it appears a majority of the precincts had no knowledge of the Court order!

    The fact is that she did not properly plan for equipment failure.

  2. He should have her husband demonstrate how the computer systems and voting machines work.

    I hear he is a wiz.

  3. Kevin Craver’s article in the Northwest Herald does a better and more complete job of summarizing the problems, including problems not listed in the County Clerk’s press release.

    Northwest Herald

    McHenry County Primary Election: ‘Worst Managed’ in Decades or Isolated Problems?

    March 16, 2016, last updated March 17, 2016 at 2:04PM

    by Kevin Craver

    – Polls opened at 6AM, election judge at Home State Bank in Crystal Lake places call to County Clerk’s office shortly thereafter, gets a call back in 45 minutes.

    – West Elementary in Crystal Lake didn’t open early enough for poll workers to get everything set-up by 6AM, voter arrives at 6:02AM and leaves at 6:30AM without voting.

    – Republican Ballot of Crystal Lake voter contained Federal candidates but not state and local candidates.

    – Some Election judges heard of the 90 minute extension for keeping polls open not from the County Clerk’s office but from the Democratic Party and from Voters themselves, some were not able to then confirm that with the Clerk’s office, so some Polls did not remain open the extra 90 minutes.

    – Election judge got repeated busy signals when placing calls to County Clerk’s office, then at 5PM received a message the office was closed.

    – The Election “hotline” given a precinct was the main number to the County Clerk’s office.

    More in the article.

    How about some investigative reporting from the Northwest Herald on the election as it appears the County Clerk’s office is attempting to minimize the breadth and depth of the problem.


    Did any other counties experience problems with ePoll Books?

    What counties?

    How many problems in each county?


  4. The following message is on the Election Judges section of the McHenry County Clerk website

    “Election Judge Training – all remaining classes are currently full.”

    “Classes are limited to 30 judges.”

    So some election judges wanted a training class but did not receive it?

    So then the election judges read the training materials and called the clerk’s office with questions?

    Election Judges section of McHenry County Clerk website. > County Government > Departments A-I > County Clerk > Elections > Election Judges

  5. For all of the complaints about the Clerk’s office and the election, not a SINGLE person at the board meeting voiced complaint during public comment.

  6. Seems like every year McHenry County has some type of election problem.

    What might be newsworthy is if they didn’t.

  7. Kelly, to complain properly, one needs to know all the facts first wouldn’t ya say?

    Are the facts all in yet?

    Does it really help to pile on?

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