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*** UPDATED x1 - Problem found, fixed *** As many as 24,000 votes may be missing in McHenry County

Thursday, Nov 8, 2018

* NW Herald

More than 116,000 McHenry County residents voted in Tuesday’s midterm election – but unofficial election results showed about 21 percent of them did not pick candidates in statewide races. […]

Issues with the county’s election reporting software may be the culprit, according to McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan.

“We are looking at election reporting software,” McClellan told the Northwest Herald. “It is not showing all the numbers for some reason.” […]

That’s 20 points lower than the 99 percent of Will County ballots that included a gubernatorial vote. In Kane County, it was 98.6 percent. In Lake County, 98.6 percent. Cook County? 98.3 percent.

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

“People just didn’t want to vote for governor,” she said.

Oh, please, that is just not true. The county clerk needs to look at her own vote totals.

That undervote was in way more than just the governor’s race. It’s literally everywhere in McHenry County.

* For instance, go to the clerk’s elections page and you’ll see that only 92,559 out of a total of 116,703 voted in the secretary of state’s race, so that’s about the same undervote as the governor’s race. Same goes for the 92,287 who voted in the attorney general’s race and the 92,427 who voted in the county’s two congressional races.

You can’t tell me that as many as 24,000 voters cast totally blank ballots. Those votes are either missing or the total vote count is way off. I called the clerk and she hasn’t gotten back to me.

It’s even worse down-ballot, by the way. Only 81,533 voted in the sheriff’s race and just 80,503 voted in the county auditor’s race. I can see that drop-off happening between statewide and local, but I cannot possibly see 24,000 completely blank ballots. No way.

[Hat tip: Cal Skinner.]

*** UPDATE *** The county clerk has now fixed the problem. Turns out, the early votes were counted but not tabulated online. As a result, the Democrats have apparently picked up another seat on the county board and Democratic US Rep.-elect Lauren Underwood has narrowly won the county, boosting her final count in the race.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments »
  1. - Soccermom - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    This is serious. What happens now?


  2. - njt16 - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    The same number of early ballots that were cast?

    https://www.nwherald.com/2018/10/31/more-than-24-000-cast-early-ballots-in-mchenry-county/ad6euxe/


  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

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

    “People just didn’t want to vote for governor,” she said.–

    That statement, coming from a county clerk, is absurd to the point of very troubling, given the seriousness of the situation.

    Keep an eye on this one. Something really stinks.


  4. - Soccermom - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    Same number as EV? yikes.


  5. - MikeMacD - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    Apparently, it’s been corrected on the website.


  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Why is always the Republicans who don’t want to count all of the votes?


  7. - Moby - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    Looks “corrected” now. So, she “corrected” the numbers like within 10-15 minutes after you posted this story? Weird.


  8. - John Deere Green - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    A Democrat not named Jack Franks won McHenry County. That’s not insignificant.


  9. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    Pro tip: If you’re not 100% confident in your website’s primary service working correctly, do not feature your picture front-and-center.


  10. - Jocko - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    How is it every other IL county hovers around 98% and McHenry is at 79%? Something tells me Mary & her crew are going to be looking at a lot of paper ballots.


  11. - JoanP - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    Who needs Russian hackers when county clerks can’t be bothered to tabulate votes?


  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 1:58 pm:

    So why was she pretending that it was reasonable to have so many missing votes?


  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    Who says Republicans don’t engage in voter suppression?


  14. - zatoichi - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    Do these groups run trial runs before the actual election event to make sure everything works?


  15. - Soccermom - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    This didn’t have any impact on statehouse races? that’s funny…


  16. - titan - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    Failures to properly merge all of the sets of EV/VBM/Grace/Precinct numbers on the first pass happen often enough that someone on the election authority staff should be looking at the totals for this sort of fairly obvious glitch before posting to the website.

    Back in my day (punch cards, mainframes and scrolling screens in a press room), that was already a known “good practice”.


  17. - Archpundit - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    The top of the ticket is the race people are almost always going to vote for in the highest numbers so in an off-year election, that’s Governor. Could there be year if Rod Blagojevich ran against George Ryan and the top of the ticket is lower than others? Sure, but that’s not this year. An election official should understand this.


  18. - Uncle Ernie - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    Would the problem have been fixed if you had not checked into it Rich? It is funny how R’s always seem to have trouble allowing people to vote, and then counting the ballots.


  19. - Big Jer - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    ====This didn’t have any impact on statehouse races? that’s funny…====

    Soccermom- As a resident of McHenry County I believe it is a staunchly Republican county and I think many people underestimated how well Underwood and others would do.

    That being said I saw a lot of Underwood yard signs around McHenry County so the tide may be slowly changing.

    Lastly, IMO Jack Franks may in theory be a Democrat but most of his actions/views are Republican/Conservative. Not surprising given as I mention above that McHenry county is strongly Republican. Hence Franks is pandering to his base but being two-faced (Democrat in name only) about it.

    By the added votes the Democrats have apparently picked up another seat on the county board which in IMO will erode some of Franks power.

    So any “vote suppression” was a failed attempt at affecting statehouse races AND keeping Democrats from seats on the County board thus maintaining Franks control.


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan is clearly incompetent.

    And she wanted to be a judge, a contest in which she was defeated.


  21. - doofusguy - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    As another McHenry County resident - lifelong - I’m convinced that McClellan is completely incompetent or up to some sort of something


  22. - An American - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 6:10 pm:

    Nope, it’s not the same as the early voting numbers. If you go to the Clerk’s website it says over 33,000 voted early. That explanation does not hold water. Her numbers prior to updating it showed 92,000 had voted for governor. That’s about ten thousand higher than the election day votes plus absentee votes, which add up to about 82,000.
    https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/county-government/departments-a-i/county-clerk
    That article about 24,000 EV being cast was posted in October.


  23. - BlueRoom - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 7:11 pm:

    If you read the NW Herald story, the State Board for Elections investigated McClellan for similar problems after the 2016 general election. So she is either really, really incompetent or someone got too enthusiastic when they were playing with the numbers. As for Jack Franks and the Underwood campaign, he was nowhere to be seen for months, but suddenly made several conspicuous appearances in the Woodstock office the final week of the campaign when the new polling suddenly showed Underwood leading Hultgren.


  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 7:48 pm:

    Hey, Mary McClellen had an opponent in the last primary. We could have gotten better results by supporting and voting for Nick Provenzano.

    We always forget what our other choices were.


  25. - Woodstock Guy - Thursday, Nov 8, 18 @ 8:00 pm:

    It’s not corruption, McClellan isn’t bright enough to be corrupt.


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