Election 2022: Despite past election snafus, incumbent McHenry County clerk leading

Election 2024
Incumbent McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio and challenger Mary Mahady

Incumbent Joe Tirio, a Republican, faced off against Democrat Mary Mahady for the McHenry County clerk’s race, a role which also includes the county recorder’s office.

At 11:40 p.m., with mail-in, Election Day and early votes counted, Tirio was ahead of Mahady.

Tirio was leading with 59,118 votes, or 55.1% of the vote, to Mahady’s 48,190 votes. No provisional or late-arriving mail-in ballots were included.

As the two campaigned, Mahaday criticized Tirio’s record as clerk overseeing elections while the incumbent touted his successes in office, including fulfilling an earlier campaign promise to merge the clerk and recorder offices.

He disputed Mahady’s characterization of problems with those past elections.

As clerk, Tirio was the overseer of six elections. The Northwest Herald has identified ballot errors with three elections during Tirio’s tenure, including misprinted ballots, a mistake that led to an initial miscount of votes, and an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that said Tirio erred in throwing out a McHenry Township ballot question.

Ahead of the June primary, Democrats criticized Tirio over polling place changes and then a letter sent to about 75 voters that did not mention the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party did not have any competitive races in June.

Tirio, of Woodstock, ran for recorder in 2016 on a platform of combining the two offices. He was elected to that combined clerk and recorder seat in 2018, running the two separately until 2020, when the offices officially merged.

Mahady, of McHenry, first won the McHenry Township assessor role three elections ago. In that role, she placed values on 25,000 parcels in the township, Mahady said.

As clerk and recorder, Mahady said her priorities would be ensuring staff are well trained, making sure election judges know what they should be doing, and updating the website to be more user-friendly.