Surveillance Footage Exposes Polling Place Manager Bringing Blank Ballots into Lorain County Bar on Eve of Election, Investigation Underway (VIDEO)

The integrity of the election process in Lorain County, Ohio has come into question after a polling place manager was captured on surveillance footage transporting blank provisional ballots into a local bar.

The Lorain County Board of Elections, the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), and the Ohio Secretary of State have launched a full investigation into the incident, Cleveland19 reported.

The video from the MAHD House Bar & Grille, which has since gone viral, clearly shows the poll manager entering with bags and placing them inside a booth, only to leave them unattended while he enjoyed a meal.

The owner of MAHD House, James Tucker, expressed his concern upon realizing what the bags contained.

“After he ordered his dinner, he went over and started stuffing these bags which we could see in them they said ballot on it and I’m like that don’t look right,” Tucker told 19 News.

“I’m telling you, when I seen it, I went, ‘this does not look right,’” Tucker said.

“I mean, we’re right across the street from the Lorain County Board of Elections. I’ve been here seven years, ain’t never seen nobody bring no ballot bags in. I don’t know what just happened, but I’m a little nervous,” he added.

Paul Adams, the Board of Elections director, assured the public that the matter is being taken seriously.

“That was a great concern for us and one of the reasons why that person is no longer in that role and has been replaced and been removed from his position,” Adams said.

“We generally direct our poll workers to take those home, keep those safe,” he added.

The individual in question, identified as Mark Provenza, a Democrat and a former city law director and veteran poll worker, purportedly visited the bar, situated across the street from the Board of Elections, while waiting for a ride. The Board claimed that the seals on the ballot bags remained intact, ensuring no tampering occurred.

WATCH:

The Fox 8 I-Team, which has been closely following the case, revealed additional footage showing Provenza transferring the ballot bags into garbage bags, purportedly to protect them against the weather, and then leaving them unwatched.

Commenting on the incident, Captain Robert Vansant of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department admitted the understandable public concern the video has caused. Despite the unsettling footage, the department concluded that there was no clear evidence of a crime.

The investigation, however, remains active, with the case being sent to a prosecutor for further review.

“We always want all cases to be reviewed by a prosecutor just to get a second set of eyes on it,” Captain Vansant said.

FOX 8 reported:

What about putting those ballot bags into garbage bags? A report shows the poll worker said he wanted to keep the ballots safe from the weather.

The report shows he ordered a beer and a sandwich, and he went to the bar to wait for a ride since he was having car trouble.

The Lorain County Board of Elections sys poll workers can pick up materials ahead of Election Day.

But, after seeing this new video, the county will not be using Provenza anymore. The Board of Elections was especially bothered by the video showing the worker walk away from blank ballots.

The report says Provenza told investigators, yes, he walked away from those ballots, but they were never really out of his sight.

In 2009, a municipal judge in Lakewood mandated that Mark Provenza, the former Law Director of Lorain City, be incarcerated for an additional nine months due to a parole violation. Provenza, who had just been released from jail for a drunken driving offense, breached the conditions of his parole by consuming a beer on the day of his release, Cleveland reported.

Legal Profession Blog also reported in 2016:

Former Lorain Law Director Mark Provenza is facing potential sanctions from the Ohio Supreme Court’s disciplinary arm for allegedly failing to provide legal services for two of his clients and then refusing to cooperate with the investigation into allegations against him.

According to a certified complaint filed by the Lorain County Bar Association with the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline last week, Provenza neglected his responsibilities to the two clients earlier this year.

In one instance Provenza is accused of taking $800 from Robin Maxwell-Smith to file a divorce for her and then not doing any of the work.

Maxwell-Smith paid Provenza $300 on Dec. 27, 2013, for the divorce paperwork to be filed. That money should have been deposited in Provenza’s trust account, where lawyers are supposed to keep money from clients while cases are pending, but that never happened, the complaint said.

Over the next few months, Maxwell-Smith made several attempts to contact Provenza, but never had any meaningful communication with him, although she did pay him another $500 on Feb. 20. That money also wasn’t put into the trust account.

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

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