Another Commenter Weighs In on County Clerk Mary McClellan’s Vote Counting

This comment is from “An American:”

State Rep. Jack Franks and McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan. at McHenry’s Fiesta Days Parade in 2015.

On Thursday morning she told the paper that the numbers being off was due to bullet voting, but the paper is now reporting that on Wednesday night she was called by Jack Franks who told her something was off and she acknowledged that night that there was an anomaly.

So, at best, she lied to the press and to the voters about the nature of the problem.

She also said the early voting numbers had been included as of Tuesday night, but later in the article it says numbers were not inserted and timestamped until 12:32 p.m. on Thursday.

And why was this?

According to Jack it was due to “computer programming.”

What kind of computer programming would count a ballot for a total but not record the actual votes?

And did her staff even bother to do a test run of this to see how it would work before the election?

Also, the numbers were initially 24,000 off and they say it was fixed after early voting was counted (even though it sort of was counted, but apparently the candidates weren’t counted?), but the early voting numbers were over 33,000.

Why don’t those numbers match?

So if 24,000 of the 33,000 early votes were not counted, how come the other ones were?

The explanation does not work.

There are major concerns that still need to be addressed. I don’t see any politicians or the media doing their job.


Another Commenter Weighs In on County Clerk Mary McClellan’s Vote Counting — 14 Comments

  1. There was a problem, it got corrected, and all the votes are in…big deal!

  2. Why did the McHenry County manual ballots contain an oval for most offices were there was no candidate?

    The only exception I could find was County Board D-4.

    Kane County had no such thing.

    Based on voting records in primaries, McHenry County voters are Republican in the majority: 39,457 tended to vote Democrat in primaries and 56,348 tended to vote Republican in primaries.

    There is a real anomaly when the governor’s race showed a majority for the Republican candidate and yet both Hultgren and Roskam were defeated.

    Rauner had 60,579 votes compared to Pritzger with 48,420.

    This would appear to reflect the tendency for this County to vote Republican.

    However in the Congressional vote it was 56,646 Republican and 59,636 Democrat.

    We do know which candidates got the biggest ‘bump’ about thirty six hours after the initial numbers were posted and there appeared to be more than 20,000 ‘missing’ ballots.

    Miraculously those ‘missing’ ballots were supposedly found and now included in the results.

    I have heard that ‘early’ votes had been missed and maybe there was a software issue.

    I have put on my tinfoil hat and come up with the following:

    From the McHenry County Election Judge manual Page 32 item 14:

    “Paper Ballot voter: Initial application and direct voter to Ballot Distribution Table.”

    This is the way I voted and had no problem.

    By having an election judge initial the paper ballot used, we are supposed to be assured that no ‘ballot stuffing’ occurs.

    However, the Touchscreen voting with paper tape backup has been replaced with what many call ‘machine’ voting by using the ES&S Express vote system.

    This process is described on Page 33 of the Election Judge manual.

    Based on my interpretation of ES&S documentation I can find no indication anywhere that precludes the gathering of ballots after the election and replacing those ballots with other ballots.

    The Express vote ballots appear to be very different than the regular paper ballot because the ballot contains only the choices made by the voter.

    From the ES&S system documentation for the Express Vote machines used in McHenry County for this election:

    “The machine provides a summary report for the voter to review his or her choices before the ballot is printed. Only the voter’s choices are printed on the ballot.

    “The phrase ‘No Selection’ appears under any contest in which the elector did not vote.

    “Overvotes and crossover votes cannot occur on this equipment and a voter is warned about undervotes prior to the completion of voting.

    “Once the ballot has been marked and is provided to the voter, the ExpressVote clears its internal memory and the paper ballot is the only lasting record of the voting selections made.

    “The voter may visually confirm his or her selections, or the ballot may be re-inserted into the machine and the voter selections summary report will provide an audio summary for voters with visual impairments.

    “The voter proceeds to enter the ballot into the DS200 or a secured ballot box to be hand tabulated by election inspectors after the polls have closed.

    “Ballots marked using the ExpressVote also may be tabulated using the DS850.”

    If we had a competent County Clerk and a Chairman who was not a proven liar, I may not be having these thoughts.

    Were the ‘missing’ ballots changed?

  3. This woman should be investigated and prosecuted, she should not be allowed to walk away from the clerk’s office with a car full of office supplies and the belief that she did a good job.

    She has screwed up two elections, practiced blatant nepotism, and treats employees in the clerk’s office like dirt.

    Prior to taking that job, she lied to federal judges and was sanctioned $34,000.

    Now she is practicing law in private practice (Hello ComEd Mary?) while still on the county dime.

    The Attorney Registration & Discipline Commission should pull her license.

  4. This is what happens when you avoid early detection and treatment and allow Illinois to metastasize.

  5. Dentblah is a Franks’ whore.

    Could very well be the Jackal himself.

  6. An American’s comment is found in this blog post:

    McHenry County Blog

    Poets Apparently Uninspired

    November 10, 2018

  7. I vote to keep the approximate 24,000 vote discrepancy issue public until a more detailed answer is provided.

    Hopefully the McHenry County Republican party is digging into the issue and will provide a more detailed answer than what was given by McHenry County Board Chair Jack Franks and McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan.


    The McHenry County Republican Party leadership:

    Diane Evertsen, Chairman

    Chuck Wheeler, Vice Chairman

    Karen Tirio, Secretary

    Rachel Lawrence, Treasurer


    It is a major feat just to describe the discrepancy, for those who don’t have the time to piece together what happened.


    The election was Tuesday November 6, 2014.


    McHenry County Blog

    Are There Missing Votes in McHenry County?

    Wednesday November 7, 2018

    Articles are not time stamped, but the first comment was 11:47AM on Wednesday November 7th.


    That article has a picture (screen capture) of the McHenry County Clerk’s Election website (Clarity) containing the following statistics as of 9:30AM on Wednesday November 7th:

    Voter Turnout Total: 48.4%

    Ballots Cast: 115,332

    Registered Voters: 238,290

    Those statistics are entirely from and for McHenry County (not Kane, Cook, etc.).


    Furthermore, that article contains statistics (but not a screen shot) that were provided to Mr. Skinner by a a blog Friend.

    The statistics are of McHenry County votes for various individual races.

    This is where the 23,000 – 24,000 discrepancy comes into play.

    The statistics at that point indicate about 23,000 – 24,000 more ballots cast countywide, than votes for the various individual races for which everyone voting was entitled to cast a vote (Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Comptroller, and State Treasurer).

    Statistics were also shown for the two Congressional Districts, State Senate Races, and State House Races, but let’s set those to the side for now.


    Let’s look at just the Governor’s race using those two sets of statistics.

    Keep in the Ballots Cast statistic is from 9:30AM on Wednesday November 7th.

    The individual race statistics are from some time and date prior to that.

    Ballots Cast – Race = Discrepancy. Percent not voting for the Race.

    115,332 – Governor 91,028 = 24,304. 21%.1%

    115,332 – Attorney General 90,933 = 23,399. 20%.3%

    115,332 – Secretary of State 91,203 = 24,129. 20.9%

    115,332 – Comptroller 90,658 = 24,674. 21.4%

    115,332 – Treasurer 89,871 = 25,461. 22.2%.

    The discrepancy range is from 23,399 – 25,641, which is a range of 1,642 votes, an average of 24,429, which is in turn a range of 21.2% not voting on an individual statewide race.


    Let’s call it a 24,000 vote discrepancy.


    The fact the two sets of statistics were not captured at the exact same time, given what we have since learned, does not come close to accounting for a 24,000 vote discrepancy.


    Those were not the final vote counts.

    Votes come in from here and there (various precincts, early voting, etc.).


    Ideally all the Early Voting would have been counted and properly displayed prior to election day, as one cannot Early Vote legally on election day.


    There are all sorts ways for vote counts to purposefully and non purposefully be incorrect.

    People specialize in this area.

    However, the more details we have, the better our understanding.

    And we don’t have many details on this topic.

    So the key is to get more detail, to better learn what happened.

    About the only thing Jack Franks and Mary McClellan could claim, and they have not done this yet, is that some but not all Early Votes were counted.

    And the best retort to that would be fine, give us more details.

    And release an audit trail including documents and explanations to back up your details.


    There is more information on the matter in the “Are There Missing Votes in McHenry County” article and comments, and subsequent articles and comments.

    And additional issues have been brought to light that are also contained in the articles and comments.


    There should be a documented audit trail that taxpayers can follow if verification is desired.


    A proper audit would include consulting with an independent expert in the election software used by the county to determine if the County’s story is plausible, and what to look for if someone wanted to commit fraud.

    Hopefully the Republican party somewhere in the US has such an expert.


    So to summarize, whey were some early votes counted, but others were not?

    Is that in fact what really occurred?

    How do we know that is what occurred?

    Where is the proof?


    The 2018 McHenry County General Election Discrepancy.

    The difference between the number of Total Ballots cast in the entire county, and the number/percentage of those who voted for a statewide office.

    The discrepancy being blamed on early votes not being counted.

    But the number of early votes exceeds the discrepancy.

    So what’s up with that?

    The latest Early Voting statistic is approximately 33,000?

    Which is 9,000 more than the 24,000 discrepancy.


    Early Voting was October 22, 2018 – Monday November 5th 2018.

    November 5th being the day prior to the Tuesday November 6th election).


    There was also same day voter registration at this election.

    Meaning a voter could register and vote on the same day.

    This is more officially called grace period registration.

    “Although the traditional voter registration period closes 28 days prior to the election, grace period registration extends that deadline from the 27th day prior to an election through Election Day.”


    There is also absentee (mail in ballot aka vote by mail) voting.

    Each county has its own procedures in how to do that.

    The county mails you a ballot.

    You vote and mail the ballot back to the county by the deadline.

  8. Maybe Trump should call for her investigation (and her husband’s) like he’s doing in Broward Co., FL

    She’s as crooked as they come…and it’s no surprise who’s seen here whispering in her ear!

  9. Mark, you wrote, “So to summarize, whey were some early votes counted, but others were not?

    Is that in fact what really occurred?

    How do we know that is what occurred?

    Where is the proof?”

    That was just speculation on my part given the fact that they were 24,000 off but there were 33,000 early votes. I’m just assuming that about 9,000 EV were counted. But that isn’t really what Mary or Jack were saying. They’re pretty vague about it and only said that early votes hadn’t been counted, and that was why the numbers were off, but that doesn’t make sense. Some of them had to have been counted as far as I can tell. So then the question is how is it that some were counted but not others? Which ones were counted and which ones weren’t? Why did Mary tell the newspaper on Thursday there was no problem but on Wednesday she acknowledged there was a problem? At this point I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. Most people will get it, hacks will brush it off like there’s nothing to see here (perhaps because some of the elections changed in their favor). Other people will stay silent and what does that say about them? That they’re dumb or that they don’t care? I’m not on here saying anybody got cheated — I just find this process really bizarre and think voters deserve better.

    People should be ultra careful about calling everything they don’t like voter fraud or vote rigging. For instance, Joe Walsh is suggesting there is potential for abuse in Lake County with no substance whatsoever while he’s not saying anything about McHenry County where there appears to be some problems. Go figure that his wife is in a close election. If she loses, don’t be surprised to see him say the election was stolen from him. Calling everything vote rigging puts your own party at risk of losing more because it disables you from objectively looking at the flaws in your party and its candidates and prevents you from improving. So from a strategic point of view it’s dumb. More importantly, it’s dangerous.

    But people should also have some kind of integrity. When Cal wrote about the initial numbers being off, at least one person said he was just being a whiny loser. Then a bunch of news outlets picked it up. Dems actually won more after more votes were counted, and some of us who didn’t want Dems to win knew that once those ballots were accounted for it would benefit Dems. That’s okay. Better to have an election process that people trust than to be a partisan hack and create a system that people do not trust. Defending a system that has the potential for abuse can come back to bite you when other people are in power.

    When Mary said she was closing polls, Dems said that she was trying to steal the election. Joe Tirio actually joined in that chorus of Democrats, like Carlos Acosta. Now that things look good for them, they seem to have a high opinion of Mary. Some of these people spent two years saying Russian memes are a threat to our democracy, but turn a blind eye to the problems here. Some of these people are already laying the groundwork for blaming clerk elect Tirio for any future losses (see the comments on news sites and recall what the Democratic clerk candidate said about Tirio).

    Ultimately, I don’t see things getting better, regardless of what political party is in power, because it seems that our politics are dominated by
    -Lazy/apathetic people. “9,000 vote discrepancy? Meh.”
    -People who are active but put their party above everything else at all costs, and therefore are unwilling to demand transparency. (Winners who don’t care about how they won.)
    -People who can’t accept election results because they put their party above everything else. (Losers who can’t accept that they lost.)
    -People who are actually corrupt.

    There are real dangers to losing our faith in the election process (sweeping problems under the rug is not a fix). Couple that with a political environment where people increasingly dehumanize the other party and make them out to be villains… It’s really playing with fire.

    Russel, don’t count on Trump to bail you out. He’s only paying attention to Broward County because of the impact of the Florida elections and the fact that the media is buzzing. The elections in McHenry County are insignificant for national politics and there’s no media attention. If you want something done you better talk to some people fast.

  10. Here is another look at the discrepancy between the Ballots Cast in McHenry County, and the votes for statewide offices in McHenry County, with statistics from this post:

    The post has a screenshot of 115,332 ballots cast with a note that was as of 9:30AM on Wednesday November 7th.

    The statewide office statistics are from some time prior to the first comment in the post, that being November 7th at 11:47AM (there was no date and time given for the statewide office statistics).

    What follows is the number of McHenry County ballots cast, the McHenry County votes for each statewide office, and number (and percentage) not voting for the specified statewide office.

    115,332 Ballots Cast – 91,028 Governor votes = 24,304 (21%.1%) not voting for Governor.

    115,332 Ballots Cast – 90,933 Attorney General votes = 24,399 (21.2%) not voting for AG (I typed 23,399 in the 11/14/2018 at 4:06pm comment).

    115,332 Ballots Cast – 91,203 Secretary of State votes = 24,129 (20.9%) not voting for SOS.

    115,332 Ballots Cast – 90,658 Comptroller votes = 24,674 (21.4%) not voting for Comptroller.

    115,332 Ballots Cast – 89,871 Treasurer votes = 25,461 (22.2%) not voting for Treasurer.


    That high is 25,641 not voting for State Treasurer.

    The low is 24,129 not voting for Secretary of State.

    The difference between the high and low is 1,512 votes.

    The average of all five is 24,429 (21.2%) of ballots cast did not vote for a statewide office.


    A McHenry County press release included the following statement.

    “McClellan discovered early Thursday afternoon that the county election website had not updated with early voting numbers.”


    So the approximate 24,000 not voting for a statewide office was blamed on early votes not being counted.


    However the actual number of early votes turned out to be 33,000 or more.

    33,000 actual early votes – 24,000 early votes not voting for statewide office = 9,000 difference.

    So further explanation is needed.

    Has anyone specifically asked Mary McClellan or Jack Franks for a further explanation given this 9,000 difference?


    Note, 9,000 early votes / 115,332 overall votes = 7.8%.

  11. @An American, just to be clear, NO ONE HAS A HIGH OPINION OF MARY.

  12. What I meant was that people think this issue is fixed. They trust her work, despite obvious flaws which they are turning a blind eye to.

    My opinion of Mary, at the personal level, is pretty high, but this election process has been disappointing!

  13. Documenting the sources for the following comment by An American (the comment is at the beginning of the blog post).

    “On Thursday morning she told the paper that the numbers being off was due to bullet voting, but the paper is now reporting that on Wednesday night she was called by Jack Franks who told her something was off and she acknowledged that night that there was an anomaly.”


    “On Thursday morning she told the paper that the numbers being off was due to bullet voting…”


    “In a phone interview Thursday morning, McClellan at first said the gap isn’t that unusual.

    McClellan pegged the missing votes to “bullet voting” or “undervoting” – the practice of voting in one race on the ballot despite the ability to vote in more.”


    Northwest Herald

    Outcome of District 5 County Board race changes after clerk discovers website didn’t include early voting numbers

    Democrat Acosta wins County Board District 5 seat

    By Ed Komenda

    Thursday November 8, 2018

    The original URL in the story was:

    The URL was subsequently changed to:


    “…but the paper is now reporting that on Wednesday night she was called by Jack Franks who told her something was off and she acknowledged that night that there was an anomaly.”


    “An hour later, we received a news release from McClellan and County Board Chairman Jack Franks, claiming McClellan noticed an “anomaly” in the vote Wednesday night.

    Later, Franks said that he was looking through the numbers and texted McClellan himself on Wednesday night saying that something didn’t add up.

    Like McClellan had told us initially, she told Franks it must have been because people had chosen not to vote for governor.”


    Northwest Herald

    Styf: Election results anomaly was worth digging into

    By Jon Styf

    Monday November 11, 2018


    Here’s a noteworthy sentence from that latter article.


    “As we found out Thursday afternoon, when the early results were inserted and timestamped at 12:32 p.m., they were not already included.”


    That conflicts with the Daily Herald article which stated that “some” early votes were included.

    “As for Tuesday’s undercount, McClellan said a filter on the county’s election reporting system had been blocking some of the early votes from being displayed correct.”


    Daily Herald

    ‘Glitch’ causes McHenry County vote undercount; fix hands board seat to Democrat

    by Jake Griffin and Lauren Rohr

    Updated: 11/8/208 7:06 PM


    The point that some (but not all) early votes were initially included (if in fact the discrepancy was due to early voting) has been made previously in various comments An American, including here:

    McHenry County Blog

    “Undervote” for Governor Very Small in Boone, DuPage, Kane & Lake Compared to McHenry

    November 8, 2018


    In summary, the McHenry County Early Vote mystery continues.

    Were some Early Votes initially counted?

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