Ohio County's Elections Board to Install Cameras

The Summit County Board of Elections intends to put a video camera in the vault where ballots are stored.

The board approved the purchase of a $20,875 security system for its Grant Street building at its meeting Tuesday.

With the new system, digital cameras also will be placed at various locations inside and outside the board offices, capturing on video activity in and around the building.

Board member Alex Arshinkoff said that cameras needed to be placed inside and outside the vault, so that there would be no question about ballot tampering. He said the security was important particularly in close elections.

"If we had had this, we might have been able to find out where Finley's petitions are," board member Joe Hutchinson said.

He was referring to the June 2003 incident in which the nominating petitions of Akron City Councilman Joe Finley, D-2, turned up missing from the board. A sheriff's investigation followed, but it could never be determined what happened. The petitions were never found.

A judge eventually ordered the board to put Finley's name on the ballot, and he was re-elected.

Elections Director Bryan Williams said the security package comes with five interior cameras.

Board members said they would establish at a future meeting a policy for how long the board will retain the video, which is a public record.