Barnstable Vault Remains Issue for November Elections

The Barnstable clerk’s vault.

BARNSTABLE – Barnstable officials said that some obstacles lie ahead for the November election following issues related to a stuck vault that caused a four hour delay for voters during the state primary. 

Town Clerk Anne Quirk said the vault was eventually opened by the locksmith in a way that would allow repairs, though it is still inoperable at this time, meaning the town will have to find a new secure location for ballots and supplies this November. 

“I need a space. I definitely need a space that can be locked up because the ballots are going to be coming out by the end of the month or the beginning of October. I’m not sure how we’re going to do this,” said Quirk.

“I have a vault on the first floor but that’s where all of the vitals are and all the books. There’s not enough space in there. I still have all the tabulators in there.” 

Town council members said some town hall rooms with the locks changed could be a potential solution ahead of November, if the vault cannot be repaired or replaced in time.

Officials added that a supplemental appropriation could help solve the issue through either repair or replacement, but no official move has been made with town funds.

Despite the morning delays the day of the primary, Quirk said that keeping polls open an extra four hours to compensate helped make the difference alongside support by other town clerks and staff. 

“By staying open until midnight they did all have an opportunity to vote. We had over a thousand people vote between 8 p.m. and midnight which speaks to the people that actually came out to vote,” said Quirk.

She added that some precincts saw voter turnout of 27 percent, compared to a usual turnout of between 7 to 10 percent.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy