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Mary McClellan

Demographics

Republican

Holiday Hills, Illinois

Associates Degree, Science, McHenry County College

Bachelors Degree, Business Management, National Louis University

Juris Doctor, , John Marshall Law School

Attorney, Cook County State's Attorney

Married, Ed

Ed, 31

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On The Record

Why are you running for county clerk?

I am running for Clerk to bring fresh ideas and a commitment to the people of McHenry County. I will bring and maintain fiscal conservatism to the McHenry County Clerk’s office. I will control spending, reduce redundancies, and streamline inefficiencies to ensure we are spending every dollar wisely. I offer solid leadership qualities that can and will be utilized at the County Clerk office.

You are seeking to replace a long-time incumbent who held the office for decades. What do you plan to do to ensure continuity of services? What will you do the same or differently?

I will carry on Kathy Schultz legacy to protect the historical preservation of records in that office. I am not sure that many government workers, short of those responding to emergencies, understand the hours - days, nights, weekends and holidays - like the County Clerk staff do year in and year out. And they do it all, without shift changes or relief workers. Some may think they are “just clerks” and move a bunch a paper to the polls. They are very wrong. The staff and election workers do the work to ensure legal compliance, complex quality controls, troubleshooting and support for even the most disorganized or uninformed person who demands much. I will provide innovative ideas to introduce transparency, technology, efficiency, training, auditing elections’ accuracy. The responsibilities in the County Clerk’s office have changed considerably in the last 20 years. We now have five different “elections” with voting by mail, early in person, through grace registration, and provisional ballots processed after the election. These tasks will be done to ensure continuity of service to the voters.

What can be done to make the clerk's office run more efficiently?

By making information more accessible to residents through the internet it will reduce the use of paper and eliminate the need to visit the office not always convenient to all in the County. Create an online ability to request ballot by mail negating the need to mail request in to office, whereby decreasing the amount of paper. Track clerks receipt of your voted ballot, if voting by mail. The other item would to be allowing credit card transactions for purchases at the clerk’s office.

What are your plans to modernize the office?

Legislative changes to election laws and deadlines for each election cycle often require website and newsletters to be updated rather quickly. We will help others link their website directly to the Clerks site, as to provide future updates and be assured that readers access current registration and voting information. Besides elections, the county clerk’s office handles vital records such as birth, death and marriage certificates. One of the office’s roles is calculating the total assessed valuation of McHenry County and its numerous taxing districts, thus determining how much in property tax revenue they can receive under the tax cap and other limits imposed by law. The vital records software no longer has vendor support that would be a priority in modernizing the office. The election software is working however it may not be as fast as some would like it is security has integrity wich is first and foremost. Additionally, I would like to Create an online voter resource Create a link to confirm your registration status and to view all your personalized election information; -sample ballot beginning 40 days prior to election, rather than just an all contest ballot -download a form to request a ballot by mail -online ability to request ballot by mail negating need to mail request in to office -create a tracking receipt of your voted ballot, if voting by mail -provide Election Day and early voting sites including driving directions and picture Provide training to election judges and recruit both Juniors and Seniors from High Schools to get involved in the election process which in turns helps the older judges learn the process of the new technology that can be challenging.

What can the clerk's office do to be more accessible to residents?

By the updating information online this will make the Clerk’s office more accessible to residents. With recent law changes allowing voter registration in Illinois it will eliminate a lot of the paper process in place currently. Also through outreach at High Schools and outreach to the public creates awareness the clerk’s office duties therefore making it more accessible.

What is the most-pressing issue the clerk's office faces?

The steady march in our state to pass election laws that run Illinois elections by exception is a pressing issue. As your County Clerk it will be my consistent goal to deliver accessible, efficient, prompt, transparent and fair elections. There are modernizations that need to occur they just do not need to have millions of dollars attached to them.

How would you differentiate yourself from your opponent?

My opponent is a career politician all you have to do is compare our resumes. I can be trusted to get the job done and can be trusted to provide commitment to the people of McHenry County. I have been a States Attorney for the last 4 years and in private practice prior to my service as such. There is a great deal of difference between working in office defending the County sometimes 60 hours weeks and being an elected county board member who served on the County Board since 2002, minus a two-year absence after a 2008 election defeat part time. My opponent claims that he voted against the raising of the Clerks salary for the next term and that I voted for it. What my opponent fails to mention is that the salary increase of 1% $1000.00 to all of the County Elected officials was set by a prior board. The Human Resource Committee voted to freeze the salary for the next term based upon prior board’s approval of the 1% increase for cost of living. My opponent skews the truth. If he is willing to make things seem as they are not when it does not matter, consider what he will do when it does matter. My opponent wants to modernize the clerk’s office by spending tax dollars to the tune of 3-4 million dollars to get election results faster. This would allow the election results to come in a couple of hours faster. The problem with this idea is that it compromises the integrity that is currently in place and would allow for hackers. The only people who are willing to spend millions or reduce the safety and integrity of the voting process are people on the ballot. The word modernization sounds good until it cost the taxpayer more money. The election results are not official until 2 weeks after the election so spending millions to get sooner results is just not fiscally conservative thinking. My opponent will claim Modernization will lead to long-term cost savings due to increased efficiency. The cost savings is not real it is just a sales pitch to get the taxpayers to spend unnecessary millions.

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