Sun Investigates

Elkridge company tasked with statewide shipping, security for voting booths

Early one morning last week, Jack Kane was pacing around a Glen Burnie warehouse, reviewing paperwork and checking equipment to make sure everything was in order to deliver scores of voting machines to regional polling stations.

Kane, 26, is the Anne Arundel County project manager for the Kane Co., an Elkridge-based firm that's transporting some 16,000 voting machines to nearly 1,800 voting centers throughout Maryland.


Security is a top priority, and part of Kane's job involves making sure machines don't get tampered with.

Before trucks are sent out, seals marked with serial numbers are placed on the machines and the truck door latches to note each time they have been unlocked. Those who break the seals must sign off when they do so, and a state board employee later reviews the tags and records.


Once the machines are dropped off at each precinct, they are kept in a locked room until election judges or state staff set them up the night before Tuesday's primary. After the election, the machines are locked up again in the polling places until the Kane Co. returns them to the warehouses.

All Maryland counties and Baltimore have a warehouse where a Kane project manager is responsible for overseeing voting machine shipments. Each location also has a polling place manager working for the jurisdiction who keeps track of inventory.

At the Glen Burnie warehouse, Rich Jerscheid, 45, was tasked with making sure the machines destined for Anne Arundel's 160 precincts were prepared. Jerscheid worked in this role in Baltimore for 27 years before transferring to Arundel last year.

"It's such a good, streamlined process," he said. "You might have a truck break down occasionally, but it doesn't really affect the process. There's little room for error."

The Kane Co. has delivered voting machines in Maryland in certain jurisdictions for more than 20 years, but this year it received the first-ever solo contract to carry out the statewide endeavor.

"Logistically, we had to get good at spreading our resources," said Kane, whose father, John Kane, owns the company.

The company has been running about 40 trucks with 80 movers a day to make sure precincts are stocked for the primary.

Donna Duncan, assistant secretary for election policy for the Maryland State Board of Elections, expects the process will once go seamlessly under the Kane Co.


"Because they've done this for so many years, they've developed a good reputation," she said.

The board of elections provides one voting unit per 200 registered voters for each precinct.

"The numbers have been pretty static," said Paul Aumayer, voting systems director for the board. "But if a local board feels that more are needed, we can accommodate that."