#CLEDocsAnswers: How will the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections ensure Midwest Direct’s conduct is unbiased?

This #CLEDocsAnswers stems from questions that Documenter Mary Paxton asked after attending the April 5 Cuyahoga County Board of Elections board meeting. In that meeting, the board approved an $861,000 contract with Midwest Direct for supplying election ballots.

Some context: Midwest Direct made news for delayed ballot delivery during the 2020 Presidential Election and for flying a Trump flag at its Cleveland headquarters in the months before the event.

The board had an earlier contract with Midwest Direct that didn’t include an unbiased-conduct clause. The new contract runs through the end of this year. Want to see the new contract in its entirety? Here’s a link: https://bit.ly/2ROUF3i.

A screenshot of the unbiased-conduct clause.

Mary asked, “How is the Board of Elections monitoring Midwest Direct’s work moving forward and their adherence to the unbiased-conduct clause? What are the consequences if they do not adhere to that clause?”

Mike West, manager of community outreach for the board, told Cleveland Documenters, “If vendors that do business with the board violate terms of contracts or agreements, the board will take whatever action they feel is appropriate.” Cleveland Documenters asked how the board would monitor Midwest Direct’s conduct to make sure it was unbiased. West said via email, “We monitor all of our vendors and contracts, but it is routine and not newsworthy.”

The board did not answer why there wasn’t an unbiased-conduct clause in the previous contract. Linda Walker, an administrative assistant with the Democratic Board Office, said the clause is now a standard element in all the board’s contracts.

Want all the details from the April 5 board meeting? Check out Mary Paxton’s notes here. You can also read Documenter Dan McLaughlin’s live-tweet thread of that meeting.

Comb through all Cleveland Documenters meeting notes and Twitter threads right here.

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