Tracking voting machines using RFID
The Objective: A Board of Elections for a major city needed to track and account for 15,000 portable voting machines as they were moved from 10 different warehouses, where they were being stored, out to polling locations and returned once voting was completed. In order to protect the integrity of the voting process, all machines had to be accounted for 100% of the time.
The Process: multiple trucking vendors were used to collect and transport voting machines from each warehouse and deliver them to their respective polling location, and then return each machine at the conclusion of the voting process. The schedule for deployment and return spans 3 days, start to finish.
The Problem: there was no reliable means to monitor the movement of the machines, or to be aware of delivery delays. And, invariably 20-30 machines would go missing throughout the process.
The Solution: Lockwood implemented radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which continually monitors all machines, from the point they enter the elevator in each warehouse, to their loading onto a specific truck and the eventual unload at a polling station. Two identical ruggedized RFID tags were affixed to each machine to insure accurate detection. Stationary RFID readers and antennae were positioned at the egress points of each warehouse. Portable RFID detectors, with global positioning (GPS) capabilities were provided to the truck drivers. Lockwood software monitored movement as it was conveyed from both the stationary and portable RFID detectors. The software tracked machines real time as they left a specific warehouse and were logically assigned to a truck as the driver scanned the machines as they were being loaded. At the various polling stations, machines were scanned as they were off-loaded and GPS coordinates were taken in order to verify machines were dropped at the appropriate locations. Lockwood software algorithms calculated route delivery timelines to insure there were no unreported delays while in route. The entire process was reversed for the purpose of returning voting machines to the warehouses at the conclusion of the vote.