Enhanced election audit verifies integrity of June 28 primary in McHenry County

Election Judge Steve Krause opens up the voting machines Friday, June 24, 2022, at the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock. Polls are open from 6 a.m until 7 p.m. today for people to cast their ballot in the in the primary election.

A new measure to reinforce voter confidence in election results – a hand count of a random race in the June 28 primary – further confirmed that the results are accurate and trustworthy.

The hand recount, conducted Thursday, July 7, matched the results of the optical tabulator used to tally the votes. McHenry County Clerk and Recorder Joe Tirio said the added step, which he believes is a first among county clerk’s offices in Illinois, should quell any concerns people may have about the accuracy of the equipment used to count ballots.

County clerk’s offices are required by law after each election to check their work by retabulating votes. The Illinois State Board of Elections randomly selects races equal to at least 5% of the ballots cast, which are then re-run through the optical tabulators used to count them on Election Day.

Rather than just resealing the ballots and sending them to storage, a random race was selected for a hand recount, as well. Tirio, joined by McHenry County Republican Party representative Bruce Johnson and Democratic Party of McHenry County representative Ruth Scifo, randomly selected a tabulator and a race that was counted by that tabulator for a hand recount.

The trio, joined by office staff member Lynzi Nevitt, spent more than two hours counting ballots. After counting more than 700 ballots, the outcomes of the hand count and the tabulator count were identical.