The issues that plagued the March 15 primary in McHenry County might have led to some eligible voters not casting their ballots, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections’ report. The report was requested by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, who was not alone in demanding answers after an Election Day many felt was full of problems. McSweeney, who provided the memo to the Northwest Herald on Thursday after receiving it from the state board of elections, said the report was disconcerting. “It was an absolute fiasco,” McSweeney said after receiving the report. “I’m concerned, and I think there should be changes so that never happens again. … That’s the most basic American right – to vote.”
One of the main problems highlighted was related to the electronic poll books, the memo said. The review found one or more of the memory sticks used to install McHenry County’s voter database had a defective file. Those defects were not uncovered before the poll books were sent to the polling places, causing delays throughout the day.
Communication also hindered the process, the report states, with callers getting automatic recordings when trying to reach election judges or the general public hotline. The phone problems in McHenry County were aggravated by the fact that poll book troubles required the attention of those who would otherwise be available to aid callers, the state election officials found.