Cuyahoga County Election Board security questioned after door left unlocked

CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into security at the Board of Elections, after a former congressman and Cleveland mayor found a back door unlocked.

"I went to vote," says Dennis Kucinich, "so I opened the door and walked in."

Kucinich entered the Board's offices on Saturday afternoon through a rear door that voters often use.

Once inside, he discovered the Board wasn't open for voting. But he also discovered that no employees were inside, and the building had been left unlocked.

"It was like 'The Twilight Zone,'"he says.

Kucinich quickly called Cleveland Police, who responded and secured the building.

In a statement, the Board of Elections says in part:
"...we can confirm that no tampering with voted or unvoted ballots took place."
"All official ballots were securely stored in double-locked rooms...."

Security at the Board's offices is handled by the County Protective Services, which is an arm of the Sheriff's Office.

"We will also be working with them to review and upgrade the physical security of the building," the Board's statement continued, "and any required upgrades will be implemented immediately."

But, as Cleveland is now just two weeks away from a mayoral primary, and thousands of ballots are inside the Board's building, Kucinich says he knows where the security should start.

"If you want to protect the vote," he says, "lock the door."