A College Student Doesn’t Get to Vote

McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan blames computer issues caused Election Day problems.

McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan blames computer issues caused Election Day problems, the McHenry Chronicle says.

A resident of Lakewood who goes to school in South Bend, Indiana, tried to vote by absentee ballot, but couldn’t obtain one.

He wrote the Chicago Tribune with copies to McHenry County Board members the following email last Wednesday:

From: Stuart Streit

Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 9:36 AM

Subject: McHenry County General Primary Election

I have followed your coverage of the issues that plagued the McHenry County General Primary Election last week, but I have yet to read any report of problems with absentee ballots. Let me be the first to report, then.

I am a permanent resident and registered voter in McHenry County, but I attend college in Indiana. More than one week before the elections, I submitted by email my application to vote by mail, following the instructions on the website of the McHenry County Clerk. On Monday, March 14th, I still had not received my ballot in the mail.

I called the McHenry County Clerk’s office five times on March 14th before an employee informed me that my application had not been processed.

I was told that County Clerk Mary McClellan neglected to forward my email application to the employee who processes those applications.

I was disenfranchised due to Mary McClellan’s incompetence.

In addition to other numerous failings on election day, enumerated by your reporters, Mary McClellan lacked the diligence to forward a simple email.

In other professions, managers who do not accomplish the primary objective of their roles are fired.

Why, then, does Mary McClellan, elected by voters and paid by taxpayers, still have her position after such a striking display of incompetence?

The taxpayers and voters pay for and expect competence.

Mary McClellan has not performed her duties.

McClellan should do the honorable thing and resign.

If she does not, residents of McHenry County should petition for her removal from office on grounds of failing to perform her duties.

Stuart Streit

Streit received the following reply from McClellan in late afternoon:

Dear Mr. Streit,

We did not receive any request for vote by mail from you.

I am sorry you were given wrong information.

What day did you send in your request?

I am not the only person who monitors email that is done by several of my staff.

Should you have any further questions or if you want to speak to me directly I can be reached at 815-334-4235.

I did search all emails for the Clerk’s office and did not find one from you.

Thank you

Mary McClellan

Later that night, Streit sent the following reply to the County Clerk:

Ms. McClellan,

Thank you for your response. Below is the email in which my application was included. It was sent on March 4th to the email address indicated on the application.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Stuart Streit

Date: March 4, 2016 at 6:58:17 PM EST

To: mchenryelection@co.mchenry.il.us

Subject: Vote by Mail Application

Attached is my application to Vote by Mail in the upcoming General Primary Election. Please let me know if there is anything else that you need from me.

Stuart Streit

Stuart Streit's absentee ballot application.

Stuart Streit’s absentee ballot application.


A College Student Doesn’t Get to Vote — 11 Comments

  1. Ammunition for McSweeney?

    Ballots were late this election in part due to challenges.

    However, Kane County had their ballots posted at least one week sooner than McHenry.

    The sample ballot lookup software did not work when the ballots were posted.

    I do not know how long it took to fix that problem.

    Those are a few items I know / heard about before election day,

    Election day:

    Some new electronic poll books would not start up.

    There was no backup process in place or available.

    The phone number given to election judges went unanswered.

    The previous Clerk always provided election judges with her personal cell phone number in case of such a situation – this clerk apparently did not.

    A request was made by the Dem and Rep parties along with the Clerk to keep polls open until 08:30 PM to compensate for the very late in some precincts.

    Some election judges were informed about this, but not all.

    Apparently some precincts which did stay open late allowed the use of regular ballots – not Provisional as the judge ordered.

    The prior clerk always gave each judge the same power and pay.

    Apparently now, we have three types of judges:

    Plain old election judges

    Technical judges

    Voter registrar judges

    I understand there is a different pay schedule for each.

    The Technical judges (in some cases) refused to do anything but provide technical support.

    It has been stated elsewhere that some Opti-scan machines were not manned by an election judge.

    I wonder how many ballots were counted without verification of the judges initials on the ballot?

    It has now been reported that the ‘summary’ report available on the third party election results website (Syctl – Clarity) does not display the number of under votes.

    There are several other anecdotal posts on this blog with a great more detail.

    Is a full recount warranted?

    Tomorrow is the due date for the posting of Provisional electon day ballots.

  2. Streit shows an ignorance of procedures not uncommon among voters.

    He should not have waited until the last few days to request an absentee ballot.

    If he really cared about his voting rights, he would have acted sooner, with a much longer lead time.

    Let’s hope he has learned his lesson.

  3. Didn’t he ask for the ballot ten days before the election?

  4. Gus Philpot, so you blame the victim???

    No mention from you as far as “MARY McCALAMITY’s” utter ineptness to do her job along with her unapologetic attitude?


  5. Gus, the submission date of Mr. Streit’s application is a red herring.

    Instead, the alleged non-receipt of an email sent to the County Clerk’s office is at issue.

    The application for voting by mail can be found here:


    It clearly shows that Mr. Streit had the correct email address.

    I will presume he typed the correct email address or he would’ve received a non-deliverable email notice.

    Ms. McClellan owes it to the county to look into this further.

    It could represent something as unintentional as a a technology issue with the email server, as typical as an “oops” that was not confessed to, to something more troubling as core incompetence and/or indifference of the staff.

    I hope that Mr. Streit receives another reply from the clerk based on the additional info he provided.

  6. Per the State Board of Elections, a Vote By Mail request can be made via mail as late as 5 days prior to the election. This form has a date of 3/4/16 or well within the legal window.

    On the question of “We did not receive any request for vote by mail from you.”

    This can be verified by having Cal Skinner produce a FOIA request for all of Mary McClellan’s email received between 3/1/16 and 3/6/16.

    The email server is maintained by the IT Department (unless of course McClellan has installed her own personal email server ala Hillary Clinton)



    In Person: Not more than 90 days nor less than 1 day prior to the election.

    By Mail inside the US: Not more than 90 days or less than 5 days prior to the election.

    By Mail outside the US:

    – Not less than 30 days prior to the election to receive full ballot or;
    – Less than 30 days prior to the election, but more than 10 days prior to the election to receive a Federal Ballot only.

  7. Gus is right, we’re talking about the USPS snail mail.

    I had a package sent from Palatine it took 10 days to get to Cary.

  8. Just what does the USPS have to do with an electronic submission via the internet?

  9. Are those type of ballots on-line or paper forms that have to be mailed USPS?

  10. Streit was a Schofield supporter. including submitting Letters to the editor on her behalf.

    I suspect Schofield encouraged him to make this complaint to validate her “this election was stolen from me” bit she has told.

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