Former Huron County elections board employee makes allegations

Serious accusations of wrongdoing leveled against director and deputy director.
Scott Seitz2
Jun 30, 2014

 

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.

Comments

JMOP

Why keep it a secret for about two years?
Less than a week of being fired, you whistleblow?

other.PP

The allegations are certainly specific. It would make sense that someone might not have blown the whistle earlier if they feared losing their job. It would be interesting to know exactly why she was fired.

swiss family

I have worked with Sharon and Tom for several years, not constantly, but during the elections, and from what I have seen they are two very dedicated, very hard working, and very honest, workers.. and I highly doubt that they would be involved in anything of any illegal nature... Just to watch them on election night, maintaining complete control out of what could be total chaos, comes from being such qualified professionals, and I doubt that they would allow some sort of scandal, especially something so transparent that any workers could see like is the case here, could take them down... sorry, but to me it sounds like sour grapes... of course investigate it, because I want to see their names cleared of any wrong doing, loud and clear so they can continue to go ahead and do the outstanding job that they always do...in my opinion

hit the road jack

No wonder the elections went the way they did with you working there

sic-of - loudmouths

The right to vote! Just another misleading falsehood on the people of AMERICA. Destroyed by political greed!!!!!! Let's look at some facts. Are you registered? Is your address correct? Are you voting at your assigned voting location? If this is all confirmed here is your ballot card with it's number recorded next to your information so as we can see how you voted. Another complete joke made of something that was once a honor in this mess of a country.......

swiss family

Mr "loudmouth"...I am not sure where or when you voted last, but to make sure that there is no voter fraud, they must take several precautions, such as making sure you are who you say you are, by checking you identification,with a pictured ID,, of course first you must first register to vote,, and yes your address must be correct, and you may only vote in your assigned location, unless you go with an absentee ballot,NOW here is where you lose me... you talk about a ballot card???I don't know where or when you voted last, but we currently, program a "credit card" sized card that is inserted into the voting machine, and is used over and over again by many , many voters on that same day, so your name, or number is NOT recorded as you claim...Is it possible that you are confusing voting for the American elections, with voting for American Idol??? I have never voted for any of those people so I do not know how any of that works, but I do know how voting for the American elections works,

sic-of - loudmouths

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

swiss family

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

beernsmokes2's picture
beernsmokes2

Like Mark Twain said....If voting really made a difference, they wouldn't let us do it....

JACKEL

He was a wise man !

Cliff Cannon

Twain was da' man wasn't he ?

itsnotme

What is your point exactly? Do you not think you should have your identity verified before you vote? If not, then why?

sic-of - loudmouths

Great point. Go to any designated voting station' show your identification and cast your vote! Why do we have to be kept to a designated voting area??? I see it as being kept track of. That's why prior to the next election the party that a person voted for sends all their political propaganda to your address. And they don't keep track of how anyone votes!!!! STOP THE FARCE!!!!!

happy time

NO NO loudmouthtard (just kidding). I thought the reason for being targeted with political propaganda was because you state your party affiliation when you register. Not to mention how you declare a party when voting in a primary. Maybe I've got it all wrong though, as I'm really not sure. I wouldn't think tracking you is allowed. How they keep track of your designated voting area, is due to the fact that you have to give your address when you register, and each time you move you need to register again. But again, it wouldn't surprise me if I'm wrong. You and swisstard just got me thinking about it.

sic-of - loudmouths

Happy time. What it boils down to is big brother knowing everyone's business. That's all I'm saying. And until we the people stand up for our rights they will continue to choke us down to a government controlled society. There is no honor or pride left in this great country. And why should any one have to state their political affiliation. It is supposed to anonymous. The two party system is a farce also!!!! Best person for the...... lmao on the loudtard

Joe Centers

Per Swiss Family's request, let's cool it on the tard reference. Thanks, Joe

swiss family

Joe......how about Not because of Swiss Family's request.... but because YOU are the Editor of this Paper and this site and as such YOU find the term "Tard" offensive and degrading, comparable to the "N" word, or for women the "C" word, or for gays the "Q" word"and as such YOU will not tolerate it's use on this site or in any editorial written to the newspaper or in the newspaper in any shape or form.....now go ahead and delete me because again I used the term again to complain about it... you can use it, but I can NOT use it to COMPLAIN ABOUT IT BEING USED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

swiss family

@Loudmouth.... wow you are a deep thinker.. and here I thought you were not... tell me this... on election day what would stop me, say I want Romney to win.. just as an example.. what stops me from going to election post to election post, and showing my pictured I D to each place and voting at each place and in essence voting probably say 15 times????? don't you think that will cause chaos??? or do you think the election board wants to take the next month to sort out exactly where that person well actually where ALL of those people were supposed to actually vote, and cancelling out the fake votes and then getting the actual tally and then finally after at least a month or better finally declaring a winner???? good plan you got there.... you are way smarter that I gave you credit for...do you have any other good ideas for the city?? the county?? the state?? the country????

SPEEDY GONZALEZ

could it be that she was let go because she was a whistleblower?

shovelhead

I had an employee just like her before. I fired the kid for being incompetent. The next day, I had all kinds of visitors. OSHA, EPA, and the laborer's union. Just wasted a lot of my time. If you are not doing anything wrong, then don't worry. What a dork.

marcialee's picture
marcialee

I wonder why she didn't report this back when it happened. If it's true and she's now doing her civic duty, why wait this long? As for the 2013 incident involving the Monroeville school levy failing, how did she know that the 96 votes would have resulted in the levy passing if they had been counted? I've been a volunteer at many of the elections and I've never known how others voted because it's supposed to be confidential. We were instructed to just make sure that the person has proper ID, they're registered and that they were at the correct polling place and the reason for this is because each person is only allowed to vote once as per the current law. As for the May 2014 election, I was there and no one at my precinct said they had the wrong ballot. If it had happened, we would have called the board to have this corrected and if the precinct that the lady is talking about didn't do that, then the people who volunteered there should be asked about that. Why didn't any of the voters there come forward and complain back in May that they did not get the correct ballot? Most people who vote regularly take it seriously and would have been upset that they did not get to vote on the issues that affected their families.

happy time

You are making an assumption that people would have noticed the wrong ballots. Mistakes do happen from time to time that you'd think someone should have caught. Nothing is totally fool-proof. She made some pretty serious accusations, serious enough to "assume" that they have at least some merit to them. Hopefully this will turn out to be a pack of lies.

marcialee's picture
marcialee

In the various precincts I've volunteered at, we've always told the voters to make sure they have the correct ballot plus this is also typewritten as a second precaution. When I vote myself, I certainly make sure the ballot is correct because as a citizen, we're all entitled to vote for/against the people and issues that affect our lives. Hopefully, none of the serious accusations have any merit and in the end, they find out that the lady was mistaken. Since this involves computerized records, it could be that she misunderstood what was going on ... technology can be confusing and complicated after all.

oh my oh my

So what are the consequences if it turns out the girl is lying? Is it like filing a false police report where she could be charged?

CAST THE FIRST STONE

those who vote hold little power. those who count the votes have all the power

Estrella Damm

Is this the same woman who was on her phone and not working at election night? If so, how did she know if what was being done or not.