A sea of election supplies and equipment at the ready

These days at elections headquarters it’s like a sea of red, white and blue. And this isn’t a metaphor for our stirrings of patriotism as the Feb. 5 Presidential Primary fast approaches.

Literally, the warehouse is awash in color as red supply suitcases, white Judge’s Booth Controller boxes and blue paper ballot boxes are lined up in neat stacks row after row, at the ready for Election Day deployment. (Judge’s Booth Controllers – or JBCs – are the machines that poll workers operate to control the eSlates.)

Red suitcase, white JBC boxes and blue ballot boxes lined up for Election Day

It’s tough to visualize, so let the photos help.

There are 448 stacks of red, white and blue placed on squares marked on the floor, each square numbered by precinct. Beginning Friday, but mostly on Saturday, chief poll workers – called inspectors – will come to the Elections Office to pick up the red suitcases, white JBCs and blue ballot boxes for their precinct. Seventeen vans will also be dispatched across the county to make home deliveries. Inspectors will keep the items at their home and then bring them to the polls in the wee hours of Election Day morning.

Distributing supplies last minute for the red suitcases, white JBC boxes and blue ballot boxesIn case that makes you wonder about security or rogue poll workers, rest easy. Every item is barcoded and numbered, locked with tamper-evident seals, and accompanied by a chain-of-custody log that multiple people must review and sign. Before the polls open on Election Day morning, two poll workers other than the inspector must check out all numbers and seals, and sign off that nothing that was in the inspector’s possession was tampered with.

Today, elections folk were adding supplies last minute, as well as doing final checks on the seals and ensuring that all barcodes and numbers on each item match our records.

“It’s tedious, but it has to be done,” said Roberto Ana, who was helping with the process.

eSlate voting machines have already been on the move, and will continue to be on Friday and Monday. With the help of five trucks from Delancey Street Movers, eSlates exit the warehouse on delivery routes to polling places, where they will be locked up until Election Day morning.

It is no small task to move them, as each eSlate weighs 30 pounds. We’re using 1,900 of them this election, which means 57,000 pounds of electronic voting equipment to move. (Read more about moving eSlates out to polling places in our blog post from November.)

Checking numbers and barcodes on red suitcases, white JBC boxes and blue ballot boxes

“It’s an exciting time right now,” said Andy Volokitin, who is overseeing all the eSlate and equipment moving and distribution. It’s a great feeling, he said, to see the eSlates and equipment all stacked up and accounted for, and ready to head out the door. 

“The next great feeling,” Volokitin said, “is when it’s all gone, and you know the election is coming.”

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