By Hafzat Akanni
BU News Service
A number of Back Bay residents were unable to get into St. Cecilia’s Parish to vote this morning when they discovered the doors to polling location were locked.
John Campbell, the warden for Ward 5, Precinct 9, said he did not know that the doors were locked. Campbell said he suspected that something may have been wrong when he saw one of the voters standing by the door waving his hands vigorously.
“I saw the man waving,” Campbell said. “So I went upstairs to investigate.”
Campbell said he saw five people waiting outside at about 9:45 a.m.; all four doors to the parish were locked. He apologized to those waiting and let them in.
In an effort to further investigate, Campbell said he spoke to a woman outside who was holding a sign for candidate Kristen Mobilla.
According to Campbell, the woman said that she saw a man leaning next to the door shortly before the incident happened. Campbell said he suspected the man may have been tampering the doors’ lock switch.
“It can’t happen accidentally,” Campbell said. “The only way that can happen is by mischief.”
Molly Hitt, the clerk for Ward 5, Precinct 9, said that all of the doors were open earlier in the morning. Hitt, who left the parish to grab a shawl from her nearby home, said that she checked to make sure the doors were open before she left.
“I was gone for about 15 minutes,” she said. “But when I came back everything was fine.”
“Most of us have been working together for a couple of years, so we get to know each other and community members well,” Campbell said.
The precinct staff said they have an idea of who the suspect may be but are not entirely sure.
“I’m not going to definitely say it was him, but somebody had to have flipped the switch,” Campbell said.
Officials reopened the doors for St. Cecilia’s Parish at approximately 10 a.m. and voting continued.