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St. Joe County Election Board voice concerns over ballot box security

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Concerns over ballot security were expressed at Friday’s meeting of the St. Joseph County Election Board.

The county is trying to adjust to a new state law that requires two separate locks on the door to the room where ballots are stored.

One is a Republican lock, and one is a Democrat lock.

That means a Republican keyholder and a Democrat keyholder must be present each time the room is accessed and vacated.

Earlier this month, there was an incident where the Republican keyholder didn’t show up and the Democrat clerk used a “spare” GOP key to get in.

“Too many keys is the root issue here. State law strictly says one key for the county clerk, and then one key to the election board member of the opposing party, which would be the Republican election board member,” said St. Joseph County Republican Party Chairman Zach Potts. “Really, we want the election process seem fair, seem open and transparent, and we don’t want anything shady going on, and this just it creates that look of something shady.”

At Friday’s meeting it was also discovered that the building maintenance director has keys to both locks. Brian Davidson says he needs access in case of an emergency like a water leak.

Democrat St. Joseph County Clerk Rita Glenn said, “I have reached out to other counties in the state of Indiana (eight in total). I have written notification from all of them that yes, they do have a duplicate key for both the R’s and the D’s because of the fact that If somebody doesn’t show up, we have taken another oath that says that we shall be the administrator of the election process.”

Glenn says the ballot storage room has surveillance cameras. The GOP has asked to view the footage of the incident in question.

The election board plans to firm up its policy in the future on how many keys there should be and who should have them.

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