Ad-hoc McHenry County Board committee to review rule changes for electronic voting

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WOODSTOCK – An ad-hoc McHenry County Board committee will weigh in Thursday on rule changes that would cover the new electronic voting system implemented by the county clerk.

The Committee on Governmental Accessibility – four board members plus board Chairman Jack Franks – will meet to review proposed amendments to board rules, which have not been updated to reflect the new system.

“My whole goal has been to make McHenry County the most transparent and accountable government in the country,” said Franks, D-Marengo. “This will take us a long way.”

The new system, financed through the county clerk’s budget, got an icy reception from board members when it went live for the January meeting. Besides compatibility with board rules that only cover voice vote, board members complained about a lack of oversight in the system installation and inadequate training.

The system, part of county government’s audio streaming software, displays voting results online and on a new flat-screen TV behind the chairman’s seat.

Franks said he created the ad-hoc committee because board rules do not explicitly give any one committee the responsibility of amending them. The duty of updating the rules traditionally has fallen upon what now is known as the Internal Support and Facilities Committee.

The ad-hoc committee members are Mike Skala, R-Huntley; Robert Nowak, R-Lake in the Hills; Michele Aavang, R-Woodstock; and Don Kopsell, R-Crystal Lake.