Local Election

More than 22K cast votes in consolidated election

Unofficial results show that 22,324 of McHenry County’s registered voters cast ballots in the county’s consolidated election.

Of the 9.69% of voters who came out, 1.6% cast their ballots early, and 0.1% sent in absentee ballots, according to the McHenry County Clerk’s website.

Several polling sites experienced minor technological setbacks, including crashing machines, County Clerk and Recorder Joe Tirio said.

He hopes to upgrade the modems powering the election equipment to speed up the voting process, Tirio said.

“There’s been some technical issues, we’ve had connectivity issues, some machines just giving up the ghost,” Tirio said.

Judges had to swap out three tabulation machines, Chief Deputy Clerk Debra Nieto said, adding that backup machines were available.

The outcomes of three major McHenry County races in the midterm election changed after former McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan updated the county’s election website to include early voting numbers. McClellan learned of about 33,000 missing votes after results showed 21 percent of 116,000 McHenry County ballots did not include selections for governor or statewide offices.​

After noticing that anomaly, she found that those votes were not included for any of the races. McClellan attributed the oversight to an error with the county’s election reporting software.

Tirio doesn’t anticipate running into the same problem this time around.

“I think we’re in really good shape with results,” he said. “There’s been some lessons learned since the November election.”

While Tirio and his crew were able to circumvent the technological problems as they happened, one error could affect the outcome of a Marengo referendum suggesting a property tax increase to help fund benefit options for firefighters and paramedics. The referendum was incorrectly written on election ballots and corrected Tuesday.

Tirio will record the votes as cast and work with the affected parties, should someone contest the results, he said.

After overseeing his first election as county clerk, Tirio said he’d like to re-examine the distribution of polling locations and the size of precincts, he said.

In response to requests from several schools and private entities that no longer wished to participate during elections for safety reasons, several local voting locations changed before the November midterm, leaving voters to cast their ballots at “less desirable” locations, Tirio said.

“We’ve got some big things to work on,” Tirio said.

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