Brevard avoided national embarrassment the past few election cycles because you, the taxpayers, have spent more than $3 million on state-of-the-art voting equipment. So where does the county keep all our cutting-edge, computerized gear — upon which democracy itself depends? It is jammed wall-to-wall in what amounts to a really big, old metal shed in west Cocoa. The Election Support Center warehouse, which also stores meticulously arranged ballots, has no smoke alarms or fire-prevention system such as sprinklers. It has no security system. It has holes in its truck-bay door and holes in walls covered by duct tape. The floors are clean, the gear precisely arranged. But insulation dangles from collapsed portions of ceiling over voting machines. Streaks of black gunk line a wall above racks of ballot bags. “It’s mold,” Elections Supervisor Lori Scott says (although it might only be mildew.)
Here, county election workers must test, audit and assemble all the working parts for each of 123 polling places across Brevard. Work for the 2016 presidential election will begin soon, with a record number of ballots expected and even more rules for tracking and storing ballots.
Yet there is barely room to move. There is no place to store the type of large, rolling carts supervisors elsewhere keep custom-loaded with all the gear each polling place needs, depending on population. Instead, Brevard must hire an army of temps before every election to start from scratch, plucking each voting site’s equipment from tubs or shelves.
The building has rats. The power fritzes out when workers plug in the coffee machine.
Full Article: Matt Reed: Scary storage for Brevard voting gear.