Mike Shorten Withstands Mail-in Votes

Republicans just don’t get it with regard to the importance of mail-in votes.

Ned Ryan does after watching the results from 2022.

So does McHenry County Board member-elect Mike Shorten after winning by a mere twenty-three votes.

Final electoin results from McHenry County Board District 4.
Election night election results for McHenry County Board District 4.


Mike Shorten Withstands Mail-in Votes — 20 Comments

  1. I don’t agree with you or Ned.

    You can vote early, you can vote on election day, or you can vote by mail…

    Pushing people to do vote by mail doesn’t get you more votes magically and if anything you are risking making a mistake or just having your ballot getting lost in the mail.

    Sure, if they weren’t going to vote at all and a vote by mail is the only way, or the best way, to get them to vote, yeah, I guess that’s ok and you should look for those people, but I find it hard to believe there are many people like that.

    If Republicans want to win they have to get more votes.

    Arguing about which method to vote doesn’t matter if it’s a zero sum game.

    If you simply switch people from voting on election day to voting by mail, it changes nothing.

    You need MORE VOTES.

    McGowen could have won if she got 24 more votes and it wouldn’t have mattered which method.

    A vote is a vote, Cal.

    WHY do Republicans need to get better specifically at vote by mail??????


    Get more votes, then you win.

    That’s all there is to it skinner.

  2. @Correcting Yes get more votes is right but if dems are willing to VBM they will get more votes then they would have if they are only willing to vote in person on election day!

    If you are only willing to vote in person your election season is one day where dems election season is 40 days!

    Now the variables where every vote counts is how many Republicans meant to go vote but didnt?

    Because they forgot, got sick had an emergency but were dead set only voting on election day.

    Dems look at elections as a season where Republicans havent excepted that yet!

    Democrats are making phone calls to people that haven’t voted yet.

    Point being Democrat get the most votes possible where the Republicans haven’t gotten on board with that!

    And if they continue down that road Republican will be getting worse not better at vote totals!

    Now what is the GOP strategy for 2024?

  3. I must agree with Gesh as they captured some issues, but left out a key one, too. I respectfully disagree with Correcting the vote-by-mail is “A COPE”.

    I do say it’s a symptom of a bigger problem, but it’s not a cope.

    Look at Maricopa County, AZ, and the fiasco of Election Day in-person voting. Machines, printers and scanners going down on election day, and if any of you have listened to the Maricopa County Election Administrator Bill Gates (yeah, that’s his real name), one may wonder if the breakdowns were “planned”.

    Ex-IL state Rep Allen Skillicorn, on his appearance Sunday night on Beyond the Beltway, now lives in Maricopa County, and described how some voters were in line 2-3 hours to cast their votes on Nov. 8, and many gave up because they don’t have 2-3 hours on a work day to stand in line to vote.

    Some may question if that was the real reason for the failure of the AZ Republican ticket, which saw only 1 statewide Republican win their race, and Democrats won everything else, including the U.S. Senate race.

    The swarmy, condescending Bill Gates, in a Mister Rogers tone, claimed everyone had the opportunity to vote, in spite of the “Drawer 3” fiasco.

    Go out on YouTube and listen to one of Gates’ videos updating Maricopa County elections administration to see what I mean about this charlatan.

    And just like in 2020, Arizona is going to be a presidential battleground state again, no matter who the Republican POTUS nominee will be.

    Plus, the intrigue of the Kyrsten Sinema U.S. Senate battle, assuming she wins an expected primary challenge from the left.

    Point is, the risk of waiting until Election Day to cast one’s ballot, in spite of in Illinois it being a state holiday, is real, especially with the precinct polling place in McHenry County being replaced with the multi-precinct vote centers.

    Equipment breakdown, lack-of-judges, are real Election Day threats to voting and one of many many issues Illinois Republicans need to address, as Gesh points out, Election Day and GOTV efforts is now a 40-day marathon, not a 13-hour sprint like it was in the old days.

    In another leftist state, California, Republicans for the past 2 years, have begun to fight back, including learning their own ways to “ballot harvest” legally, under California’s very loose Ballot Harvesting law which D.C. Democrats have tried to take national.

    For example, starting in 2020, Republicans worked with churches to make houses of worship vote-by-mail ballot collection sites.

    Similar steps will have to be followed in Illinois including obedience to Illinois law concerning 2nd-hand ballot handling.

    Local Republicans, beginning with the County Republican Party, need to learn how to fight and win.
    Much of what I’ve heard from poll watchers on Nov 8 were issues of voters NOT knowing where to go, and not knowing which districts they lived in for all races, especially McHenry County Board.

    That starts with the precinct committeepersons, and very clear they are not communicating with their neighbors.

    Getting back to Shorty Shorten’s narrow win, Democrat Laura McGowan after election night netted 523 additional votes compared with Shorten’s 221, so she netted 302 more.

    Once the Canvass is published, it’ll be interesting to see the number of undervotes in District 4, and see how many voters did not cast a vote in the District 4 race.

    My educated guess, is undervoting is going to be a bigger problem, and this is where the local Democrats will kick themselves more concerning McGowan’s narrow loss to Shorten.

  4. My point and that of the Virginia consultant is that not doing what the Democrats do to maximize the number of votes for one’s candidates is likely to lead to defeat.

  5. Ned is definitely coping. He is denying that abortion or candidate quality made any difference in outcomes. No serious & objective person would conclude that.

    Again, it’s just voter outreach. It doesn’t matter how you vote as long as you vote. A vote is a vote. 40 days of voting also includes early voting, not just mail. My point was if you’re looking at this as “we need to get more mail in votes,” which some readers might conclude from reading this article, you could be mislead to simply telling people to vote by mail; however, that’s not going to make you win. You need *more* votes. If you just switch from day of voting to mail in you have gained NOTHING! That was my only point.

    ^ I believe this needed to be explicitly stated because of the overall stupidity of the Republican Party. ^

    Now tell readers about the “ballot harvesting” in Illinois. This ought to be good. I’ll make some coffee and come back later for the responses.

    I have in the past told people to vote early because what if the act of God happens, what if you die, what if someone steals your vote, what if… Personally I vote early. Now we have some people telling people “no don’t vote early don’t do mail in, you gotta vote on election day cuz the chinamen deep state are rigging the machines if you vote early!” People like JT on this blog.

    As to people waiting 2 or 3 hours and then leave huffing and puffing before casting a vote or the people who were told by Trump to NOT vote by mail but then were afraid of COVID so didn’t vote AT ALL, at some point idk man. If people on your side are this retarded maybe you’re just destined to lose. Maybe the answer is to make schools better or give people better diets or something. That might be the best the thing to do if the people on your side are so retarded they think not voting is the same as voting. We’re sitting here talking about vote method; it kind of sounds like Republicans don’t know the difference between NOT voting and voting… sounds like republican party has some bigger problems man.

    We could just as easily discuss “outreach to people who rarely vote” or “outreach to women” or “outreach to young people.” There are a million things you could possibly do, but the general idea is to get more votes than your opponent. But Ned is just barking something in an abstract way. He’s not telling anybody HOW to do anything. So, his advice is pointless. Anybody can say “if you can get better at this, you can win” but how do they do that?

    Ned is talking about “ballot harvesting.” Ok. tell us about this “ballot harvesting” in Illinois. I’ll wait.

  6. Congratulations, another Charlatan and ever-perpetual candidate, “Shorts,” who can thank a swampy Democratic challenger for his bid. The very same candidate who made it clear in his campaign that he has no problem with McHenry County taxes.

    As quoted in the Rag, Daily Herald;

    “I don’t believe that decreasing the county portion of residents property taxes is a feasible possibility.”

    This, from the self-proclaimed “fiscal conservative” whilst McHenry County forever languishes in a ranking between 2-4 in a State of 102 Counties for highest taxes.

    Yet another Rino Squish elected who made it clear that he also, is fine with the taxes we currently pay. You asked for it.

  7. I would have thought that the new district in which Shorten and Joe ran would have been more GOP leaning than the former District 3 which had included Island Lake and other more D leaning precincts. It appears however that the addition of the Cary precincts may have made up for that. Crystal Lake is now a Blue City as well.

    Two more points:

    First, I don’t think that “ballot harvesting” is really a huge problem in Illinois given that the statute requires that the voter and the person picking up the ballot both sign their names. It should be possible to backtrack for any large scale collections by looking at that post election and exposing it.

    Second, you are not going to have an effective mail in campaign unless you can have an effective ground game, which the McGOP has never had. I think a lot of the gains that the Democrats have had in the county has been a result of importing the Chicago type precinct level door knocking. GOP PC’s need to assume that this is what will be expected of them if they are going to take on those positions.

  8. **Ex-IL state Rep Allen Skillicorn … described how some voters… gave up**

    Just like Allen did when he pretended to run for state rep against Suzanne Ness! T

    hanks Allen!

  9. @Correcting So what do you mean by quality candidate?

    Isn’t a quality candidate subjective and which races are you talking about?


    There are a lot of bad candidates on the Dem side but they get enough votes to win.

    Johnson in Wisc is a good candidate and barely won.

    But if you look in key states working class voters didn’t show up to win.

    Red counties didn’t go redder they shifted light red and some went light blue especially in Penn, Wisc, and Az.

    Did certain counties like Dane in Wisc show up more yes but part of that was free college loan payback as well.

    Does the GOP need a better message on abortion yes but again the GOP needs to get more voters to vote and maximize turnout like the Dems.

    Whether it’s ballot harvesting or whatever is legal to do it.

    Thankfully you don’t have someone like Mahady possibly messing with machines on election day running elections!

  10. Ding ding ding. Correct, BecauseScience!

    Making broad statements about what kind of trends you want to see *in a general sense* with no advice on how to do that and no regard/understanding of STATE laws doesn’t make Ned Ryun cool or smart. It makes him sound ignorant.

    I could tell that Cal, John, and Ned had not given this issue of “ballot harvesting” and how it fits in with Illinois LAW any thought whatsoever except for a general idea that Republicans need to get more votes, but really what good is it to say something so obvious like that? You need to first understand PROCESSES if you’re going to make recommendations.

    If you don’t even understand election law basics, you probably won’t have good strategies. This is the problem when we see an article and say “that reminds me of the situation here.” Does it? You did not think it through, Cal. If you did, you would have understood Ned’s article was NOT helpful! It was the opposite of what you said. It was NOT helpful. It told us nothing.


  11. Of you want to know HOW to Get Out The Vote (GOTV), this is how it was done in the pre mail age in Chicago:

    On election day, the precinct committeeman (or precinct Captain in Chicago) gets up early and goes to the polling place armed with signs and a clipboard containing a list of all of the voters in the precinct, plus “pollwatcher” credentials signed by a candidate or the head of the party ( use this term in quotes because, as you will read, this person is really not there to “watch” the polls but to do GOTV for a candidate or party).

    But before going there, he/she stops first at a donut shop and gets a big box of donuts.

    Upon arriving, he/she puts up the signs and then goes into the precinct at 6 AM sharp armed with the above. He/she gives the credentials to the judges along with enough donuts for all of them to have 3 or 4.

    He/she makes sure that all of the machines are operational, there are enough ballots, and there are judges from both parties. Then he/she calls into the party or candidate HQ to report that signs are up, everything is working, and the judges like the donuts.

    He/she then settles into a chair with the clipboard. On the clipboard are marked +’s and -‘s if it is a primary and D or R if a general election next to each voter’s name.

    Under Illinois law, the judges are required to call out the name of each voter as they present themselves and sign in. (This is largely unknown in McHenry County but is in the statute).

    When they do that, the “pollwatcher” checks off the name. Sometimes he/she will have one of those pencils that is blue on one half and red on the other along with a pencil sharpener. So a blue check will be a Dem voter and a red check means a Rep voter. Some will be unknown as they didn’t vote in the primary but those people should have been contacted during the campaign to solicit their preference so they will still be marked accordingly.

    Then at around noon, someone from the campaign who is circulating around a block of precinct polling places will stop by and get a copy of the list. This will then be taken back to the HQ where phone bank callers will call all of the people who have not yet voted who were on the plus side. Also the overall turnout figure and the comparative figures for plus/minus voters will be compared. This tells the campaign if it is underperforming in certain areas so they can focus on those.

    The “pollwatcher” will then start a new list which will be maintained until 3 PM. Comparative turnout figures will also be reported.

    At that point a set of door hangers or sticky notes are filled out with the name and address of all of the plus voters who have not yet voted. Someone will come by and pick those up and give them to runners who will put them on people’s doors. These are only going to the voters who have not voted by 3PM. Also more calls will be made to those voters.

    At 6 PM another runner shows up, hopefully one who owns a large van, and gets a list of the people who have still not voted. He/she then drives to each house and rings the bell and reminds the voter to vote before the polls close. If they say they need a ride they are offered a seat in the van.

    Shortly before the polls are to close, the vans arrive and deliver all of the voters who have not yet voted who are therefore in line by closing time and have to be allowed to vote.

    THAT is how the Democratic Party has taken over Illinois, where most of their votes come from Chicago and Cook County where this type of system is used.

    With mail in ballots and early voting, this job is made much easier as it is possible now to have a computer list of people who have already voted early so the universe of people that the party has to worry about on election day is much smaller.

    Oh yeah, at 5 PM someone drops off some pizzas.

  12. It told readers the Virginia GOP’s vote mobilizing efforts did nmot work and that of the Democrats did.

  13. @Gesh, for example, Dr. Oz was never considered a good candidate. He ran against a potato and lost, and perhaps because of that one race the GOP won’t be in the majority in the Senate. They certainly won’t be improving their situation — even with a potential flip in Georgia now. So the Senate was a bust. Bolduc in NH always polled worse than Morse or whatever his name was against Hasan, yet GOPers went with Bolduc. Things like that.

    Some winnable House races too that were won by GOP. Dems won most tossups. Don’t have those off the top of my head but Bo Hines’s district comes to mind. Most people aren’t going to vote for some twenty something year old who *looks good*. There needs to be some substance there.

    And Virginia? Really? Comparing House elections to a governor election? Seems kind of silly. You don’t see any differences in quality between how Spanberger and Wexton ran their winning campaigns vs how Terry McCauliffe ran his losing campaign? You don’t see a difference between Hung Cao and Glenn Youngkin? Interesting… The new map gave Dems 5 districts and Republicans 5 districts and there was 1 true tossup. Dems won 6 and GOP won 5. What was the big failure in Virginia again?????????????? Spanberger’s race was the tossup and she won it (by about 4 when the district had a plus 2 slight Dem advantage), not that surprising given incumbent status, how much money was spent, and how much she has been posturing as a centrist. Where is the failure again? You don’t think a governor who is stepping down hands down any of his baggage to the next guy running with his party and maybe that’s something that hurt McCauliffe? You remember governor blackface don’t you? Ralph Northam. Or McCauliffe talking about how parents shouldn’t have choices? Nah, candidate quality doesn’t matter? That’s what you and Ned believe? Interesting….

    I guess I disagree with you.

    Oh, wait, one more thing! Could you or Ned explain to me how New York and California were able to have GOOD years for Republicans? Was it because they ran good candidates or their opponents were unpopular OR did they have some kind of mail in ballot wizardry? Because I thought Katie Hochul was just very unlikable. But it sounds like YOU GUYS are saying Lee Zeldin had some kind of mail in ballot wizardry. Maybe you and Ned could tell us more about that.


  14. Hm. Wow. Candidate quality is not a thing according to some people like Ned.

    Hmm so why did all the Republican “leaders” in Illinois tell us we needed to vote for Salvi in the primary?

    That’s really weird!

    How can these two contradictions be squared?

  15. Unless there is some sort of “sea change” Republicans are going to continue to be totally shut out of statewide politics in Illinois from now on.

    Demographic changes are going to make us more urban, younger, multi racial, multi cultural, multi religious.

    What we have been seeing in the past few years is the last gasp of the Republican Party thanks to Trump.

    Ironically his current candidacy and antics will blow the whole thing up by 2024.

    So Trumpism has actually accelerated the decline. People now see the GOP as a bunch of crazies, which is basically the case.

    Unlike New York state, the Democrats in Illinois got away with major gerrymandering of districts and now have a 5-2 majority on the state Supreme Court.

    Now there is nothing to stop them.

    It’s over.

  16. @Correcting I never said Oz was a great candidate but he wasn’t some awful candidate either.

    Fetterwoman was an awful candidate. Warnock is also a pretty bad candidate but Walker isn’t some awful candidate either.

    But Zeldin happens to be a really good candidate who picked the right time to run for Governor of NY. I hope he becomes the RNC Chair.

    In Calif. the US Congress seats they have figured out the ballot harvesting process and have used it to their advantage but also put a ground game together.

    But it took them 6 yrs to catch on.

    Garcia in CA27, Valadao in CA22 and Steel in CA45 were very good at it this election cycle.

    But overall about 10 million people less voted in 2022 than in 2018 nationally.

    That is a lot of votes that could have mattered more to the Republicans.

    Again if you look at the counties in Penn, Mich., Wisc., AZ., Nev., and even Ohio counties went less Red than when Trump ran in 2016 and 2020.

    And though we all know midterms are less voters they shifted more Blue.

    Trump got the working class voters to come out.

    He got Latinos to show up for him more.

    Another issue you had was McConnell, McCarthy and McDaniel gave little money if any to the candidates that needed it.

    Masters got zero, not a dime from any of them.

    They didn’t put money into Mastriano’s race until it was to late.

    Same with Lake in AZ. Laxalt barely lost.

    The big 3 M’s didn’t want to support Trump candidates.

    However they pumped in what over $5 million to a candidate that had no chance in winning in O’dea in Colorado.

    Waste of money and resources.

    Wonder what would have happened if that was put in AZ or Nev.?

    I never thought NH would win the Senate either.

    And Alaska with ranked voting is the biggest joke out there.

    So the question is Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn., AZ and Georgia when he won.

    Why was because of getting independents and working class families that use to vote Dem but changed.

    Who can get those voters in 2024?

    Oz did slightly better in the burbs of Philly but got crushed elsewhere in rural and western Penn.

    Wisc. not only did Dane county come out but many of the rural areas trended more Dem.

    How would Desantis get those voters to come to his side?

    He might do better in Az but he needs more than that if he is going to win the Presidency.

    Florida is not the rust belt.

    My opinion Desantis has a greater chance of losing because he could not pick up Penn., Wisc., Mich., to win.

    As far as locally I stand by my comments the party or whoever has to get voters out and the Republican party needs to get on board as far as turning in their VBM or Early vote.

    Dems maximize their turnouts the Republican’s need to figure it out quick.

  17. One other thing was that early voting in Penn. for Fetterman was the margin of victory. If the debate would have happened before the voting started you probably would likely say Oz would have won.

  18. ^Yeah, I’ve wondered about the timing of the debate too and how that affected things — whether it would be enough to flip the outcome or not. Red Eagle Politics also said Oz did well in Philly suburbs but didn’t get enough rural turnout. That checks out given he was from NJ. I still think when you’re dealing with purple states you need to have really solid candidates though. There just isn’t much room for error unfrotunately. This is sort of shades of the senate races from back in 2010 or 2012 where GOP picked some candidates who lost in winnable races. Lopez probably remembers what I’m talking about.

    Agree on Mitch doing questionable things with money. NH and AZ always showed they would be closer than CO. I heard in the case of AZ in particular Mitch was never on board with Masters cuz he thought Masters would not vote for him. It is possible, even probable, that Mitch was willing to sink a Republican majority for his own personal reputation.

    I disagree with your 2024 electoral college analysis and think DeSantis definitely could win in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona — that he would even have a better chance than Trump who lost those states by a hair.

    (He just doesn’t have the baggage that Trump has. Why is it so hard for people to admit that there are a lot of independent voters turned off by Trump?)

    Nevada is coming into play too.

    Michigan and Pennsylvania seem to be drifting away — but just WI, GA, and AZ would be enough for 270+.

    A lot will depend on the situation at the time though.

    For example, with no COVID, Trump would have probably won the popular vote and gotten more electoral votes than he got in 2016 by winning in NH, NV, and maybe even some other states.

    And it will depend on who the Dems pick as their candidate.

    They could pick someone weaker than Biden (Buttigieg or Harris). Some think Newsom would be a strong candidate, but I think being from California would give him problems in places like Wisconsin and Georgia.

    If AZ Republicans end up demoralized after this year (assuming Lake isn’t miraculously sworn in) then GOP in 2024 may need to to look at NV + NH. You can play around with the maps here.

    GOP has excellent chance to win Senate back with races in Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia in 24, but it might be hard to hold on to the House, especially if some of those states (like Alabama and Louisiana) are forced to redraw their maps & there could be vulnerable GOPers like in NY.

    Your assumption about Trump is that he will get tons of people in rural counties to come out, which is fair, but you’re not taking into consideration how unpopular Trump is in suburbs.

    All of the statewide candidates this year got a higher % than Trump in Illinois.

    Mark Kirk got a higher % than Trump got in 2016.

    You look at Florida and Trump didn’t win it by that much while Rubio and DeSantis crushed it.

    DeWine and Sununu and Kemp and Abbott crushed it in their states.

    Ron Johnson won by a higher % margin than Trump won against Clinton.

    Trump was not a juggernaut candidate — he squeaked by in about 3 states in 2016 when Hillary Clinton ran a terrible campaign and people underestimated him.

    Places like Detroit and Philly have been fortified if you know what I mean.

    Trump has a hard ceiling.

    He has his loyal supporters, but at this point is he going to convert people?

    His own popularity has waned too.


    But this is all off topic from my original point which was simply to point out that “ballot harvesting” as people understand it doesn’t exist in Illinois.

    Ned is saying Republicans have to get better at VBM but we all know it isn’t just because of VBM that Democrats win in Illinois.

    Pritzker’s race was called minutes after the polls closed, two weeks before the VBM was all counted. The supreme court races were called long before VBM was all went through.

    The House races as well.

    Ned’s point might be a good general tip, but as for Illinois not really and the GOP has bigger problems.

    Likewise, is McHenry County slowly shifting blue because Democrats are so great at vote by mail or are there other things going on?

    Sometimes you don’t lose because of one tactical error but because of a broader failure.

    I think the GOP doesn’t have a good message.

    Either what they are pitching is not popular or they are just incompetent at pitching it.

    Look, there’s a reason Democrats take over media and take over education.

    They don’t look at one thing and say “we have to get better at this” they control the entire culture.

    Any opposition to them that does not deal with this holistically will only have a few short lived and insignificant victories at best.

    Those people are playing the long game.

    They’re busy brainwashing your children while Ned is talking about vote by mail.

    Well WHY are those people voting Democrat in the first place, Ned??????

    Check out the demographics and tell me we just need to get better at vote by mail.

    No, things are really messed up and if we ignore that and pretend it’s just some tactical error that can be fixed by pushing more mail in votes we are doing so at our own peril.


  19. @Correcting I will agree to disagree but 2 yrs is forever in politics and have no idea how things will play out.

    Trump having to hand over his tax returns not only will it open him up for criticism but he will spin it around and say the Dems wrote the rules I just followed them.

    Though agree that there are slim margins of error for the Electoral College but Trump brought into play the Rust Belt and Ohio is now solid Red.

    And lets not forget Trump was the person that turned Fla Red.

    Yeah Desantis won big but I bet is Rick Scott or even Marco would have won Fla.

    Republicans have been moving their in the masses.

    That is not Desantis changing peoples vote.

    And talk about a bad Dem candidate that ran against him.

    Trump started the trend in Miami-Dade with Latino vote, Desantis just kept it going.

    Trump has also started receiving more of the Black vote than any other Rep. Presidential candidate. I think Trump will win Wisc., GA and AZ but I also think he wins Nevada and possibly either Penn or Michigan.

    More than likely Penn because he will drive home oil/gas in that state.

    I just don’t think Desantis wins any of the Rust Belt states.

    His only shot is to win Wisc. and if he doesn’t win that he can’t win.

    I think Trump has other possibilities if needed.

    But as you stated with the slim error rate I think that the people that voted for Trump in the swing states still go out and vote for him.

    However, will those same people that voted for Biden go out and vote for him?

    And just like there is the never Trumpers there are a lot of always Trumpers!

    If they don’t show up because Trump didn’t get the nomination for whatever reason, if they don’t show up to vote Desantis can’t win either.

    Will Trump get on board in supporting Desantis or will he say you are on your own and good luck without my peoples support?

    But as far as Illinois the Rep. party needs to start in the counties that are Republican and close to Republican and making them a stronger Red county.

    If you don’t start with what you have well all the collar counties and beyond will become blue at some point.

    But when the Safety Act takes effect lets see how disastrous and what people are willing to put up with?

    Locally the Republicans need money and people that are willing to actually help the GOP along with the leadership to implement a good message.

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