Locked Vault stalls Barnstable Primary Election

Barnstable - The polls are staying open four hours later in Barnstable after the town clerk reported they could not get the ballots out of the locked vault. The town had to send photocopies of the ballots out to the polling locations so people could vote.

Town clerk Ann Quirk says the vault that has a combination lock malfunctioned.

“I don’t know what happened to the door overnight but it broke,” Quirk told Boston 25.

No ballots meant no voting at Barnstable’s 10 polling locations.

“We were open for business but we didn’t have ballots,” said Quirk.

A Boston locksmith was called in while the clerk sent photocopied ballots out to the locations. Voters were able to start voting by 11 am – four hours after the polls were supposed to open.

“When you walk in it’s kinda confusing, they tell you to go here, go there,” said a voter.

“It goes into a little box and they said they are going to count them tonight,” said another voter.

Barnstable has more than 35-thousand voters but only expected about 24 hundred people to vote in the primary. The clerk says all of the photocopied ballots will have to be counted by hand. “I am elected and I can’t even imagine for those people running how they must feel. I wish it didn’t happen but it happened,” said Quirk.

The clerk says the only thing that could have made this situation worse –is this happening during a presidential election. “Don’t even go there,” joked Quirk.

Barnstable’s clerk told us it was working fine on Saturday when they prepared the ballots and and it is regularly serviced. We also learned marriage records are also stored in the vault.

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