Elections have caused a lot of tension with the public in recent years. So much so that some are questioning the integrity of elections. As a county, you want to ensure you do all you can to obtain your constituents’ trust in the election process. One way you can do this is by having a reliable real-time tracking system (RTLS) that tracks election equipment from storage to the election site and back.
There have been several reasons Americans have been losing trust in the safety of elections. Some have called the integrity into question because of mail-in ballots; others wonder if the equipment has been tampered with. Mail-in ballot authenticity isn’t as much of a concern as it once was since most counties have switched back to in-person polling. The public still has concerns about equipment tampering.
The Role of Automation
RTLS solutions automate the chain of custody. Using RTLS doesn’t tell you who has what piece of equipment, but it does tell you where the equipment is in real-time and even tells you where it’s been. Instead of calling everyone the morning of, you can see each time equipment is sent out where the equipment ends up. If a mistake is made, you can address the problem before election morning.
This technology is meant to remove human input. Where this is a lack of human input, there is also a lack of human error.
Counties currently keep track of their equipment’s location manually through passive RFID or mobile scanning of equipment. Auditors typically monitor the chain of custody, so they know who has what piece of equipment at all times and call each location the morning of the election to ensure the right equipment is at the right location. This system works fine but doesn’t leave much room for addressing errors. If you call the polling location two hours before opening, there isn’t much time to fix any present logistic issues. If you are missing a piece of equipment or have the wrong electronic poll book, there’s little time to exchange equipment. If you run out of time, you still have to open your location on time per local regulations, but more work has to be done throughout the day. For example, if you have the wrong electronic poll book, providing provisional ballots is not only time-consuming but also runs the risk of decreasing public confidence and discouraging citizen participation. Things are already busy during the day; missing or wrong equipment makes things even harder.
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Overcoming Legal Concerns
Unfortunately, a lack of public confidence has led to many lawsuits over the years. With current manual systems, there’s little proof counties have to make their case. Even if you followed every protocol perfectly, you’ll often still suffer fines without the proof you need. With an RTLS asset tracking system, counties have data showing where the equipment is at all times. A county that has made the switch has already seen the benefits by getting a lawsuit thrown out.
Bring Back the Public’s Trust with AirFinder
There are always Americans who question the legitimacy of an election; an RTLS like our AirFinder helps gain the public’s trust back by having complete transparency. With this increased confidence, you can also count on a larger voter turnout. AirFinder shows the location of election equipment in real-time, and if a lawsuit is brought forward questioning the integrity, you can see where the equipment was at every moment.
If you’re looking to protect the liberty and security of elections, you should consider an asset tracking location. For more information, book a demo with us to learn how we can help you.