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Former Huron County elections board employee makes allegations

Scott Seitz2 • Jul 2, 2014 at 10:25 PM

A recently-terminated employee of the Huron County Board of Elections has leveled serious accusations of wrongdoing at its director and deputy director.

Amy Maestas, who was hired part-time at the board of elections in 2007 and full-time in 2010, provided the Reflector a letter she addressed to Secretary of State Jon Husted involving allegations against director Sharon Locke and deputy director Tom Gerrity.

"During November 2012 elections, it is my belief that Mr. Gerrity, the deputy director, did not upload the memory card from one of the absentee TSX machines," Maestas wrote. "I overheard and was later told by the director that Mr. Gerrity did not upload the memory card correctly and more than 3,000 votes were lost."

Maestas cited two more election-related offenses.

"During the May 2013 election, the memory card for one of the TSX machines used to encode the voter access cards for the absentee voters was not properly cleared during the L&A (logic and accuracy) process," she said in the letter. "Ninety-six votes were left on the memory card. This resulted in the Monroeville school levy failing. During an interview with the Norwalk Reflector, Ms. Locke stated that it was because the provisional votes changed the outcome.

"During the May 2014 election, the deputy director told the Reflector that there was one precinct that received the wrong ballots," Maestas said. "To my knowledge, I do believe that there were more precincts that that."

In her letter, Maestas requested a meeting with Husted where she said she would provide documents to support her allegations.

Maestas was fired from the board of elections Wednesday.

Locke provided a formal response via writing on Thursday to Maestas' allegations.

"The office of the Huron County Board of Elections has received a copy of a letter from former board employee Amy Maestas that is addressed to the Secretary of State and is dated June 24, 2014," Locke wrote.

"This letter was not sent to the board nor was the board in receipt of the letter at the board meeting that was held at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 25, 2014," Locke added.

"The office forwarded a copy of the letter to Secretary of State Regional Liaison, Marilyn Jacobcik and Secretary of State Legal Counsel, Brandi Seskes," Locke said.

"The board plans to cooperate fully with any inquiry or investigation by the Secretary of State, or other investigating agency, and will make available all records, equipment and personnel, as requested," Locke added.

"The board is confident in affirming the certification of all past election results and that all business of the board is conducted in a fair, honest and open manner," Locke said.

"The board has no further comment on the letter or the issues raised until the state concludes any proceedings on the matter," Locke said.

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