The locked vault containing Barnstable County’s Primary Election ballots was opened Tuesday evening after almost 16 hours worth of effort to get inside.
Boston 25′s Drew Karedes was on the scene when the vault was finally cracked open shortly before 8:00 p.m.
Emergency paper ballots were distributed at 11 a.m. after several efforts by a Boston locksmith to open the vault proved futile.
“It was a huge process. That gentleman worked from 8 o’clock this morning until almost 8 o’clock.” Town clerk Ann Quirk told Boston 25.
The town of Barnstable is allowing residents to vote until midnight to account for the delay in the voting system. Those who arrived during the initial voting window were asked to come back later.
“A policeman told me the votes were locked in the vault,” said Marc Segerman. “I started to think to myself how could that happen.”
Quirk told Boston 25 that the vault has a combination lock that malfunctioned.
“I don’t know what happened to the door overnight but it broke,” Quirk said. “As the town clerk, I can tell you it was a nightmare for this thing to happen.”
The clerk says all of the photocopied ballots will have to be counted by hand.
“I have no idea what time we’ll get out of here.”
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