2007 Election Department Office Expansion Project

 Due to unprecedented growth in Will County, the Election Services Department was literally busting at the seams to store, prepare, and stage the election equipment in a secure location prior to each election.

To resolve the situation, the County Clerk worked closely with the County Executive, County Board, and Regional Office of Education to relocate the school’s office to a new location in New Lenox and expand the election services staging area in the basement of the Will County Building. The following pictures highlight this effort which was completed in September 2007.


Prior to the beginning of the 2007 expansion project, a 39×54 room in the basement of the County Building directly below the County Clerk’s office was used to prepare and stage the election supplies & voting equipment. This is the day after an election.


M-100 ballot counter cases & Judge’s supply bags to be emptied. Materials are then sorted & reused for the following election.


Staff organizing various supplies piled high to the ceiling.

 


 

Supplies were sorted and counted by several staff members with very little room to work. The room had to be shifted several times before the election for various tasks.


The County Clerk had to use every public corridor on all 3 floors of the county building to house carts with voting machines, cases, & ballot boxes.


The renovation project begins! The Will County Regional Office of Education which was located in the county building basement adjacent to the elections staging area, moved out in late May of 2007. The Will County Clerk’s Office renovation began in early June.


The existing 2 schools offices were kept for election supervisor’s staff. Building Maintenance staff worked together with the County Clerk on the renovation to help control cost of the project.


The beginning of the move into the new warehouse/office space – 460 ballot boxes now fit like a glove in one secured area instead of being distributed in public hallways.


From this view are the double doors that lead to service elevator. The tile was leftover from another project so there was no extra cost for the County.


In the past, the AutoMARK ballot marking device empty cases had to be stored at the County’s Nicholson Street warehouse. Storing them on-site saves precious time and money.


The AutoMARK ballot marking device cases are 8 rows deep, 8 rows across and 7 high and the area still has room for future growth!


In front of the AutoMARK ballot marking device cases are the transport carts for the Judges of Election. Bradford Systems designed each unit to hold 24 and they ARE ON WHEELS!


 

Each of the 446 precinct carts are organized and loaded with ballots, signs, and a tote bag with the precinct sensitive materials necessary to open the polls. The carts are checked and double checked before the election judges pick up the supplies.


On Saturday preceding the election, the carts are lined up in precinct order for Sunday distribution to the Judges. The Judge does not leave their car, they simple pull up and a worker loads the supplies into their trunk.


The County Clerk canvas tote bag was purchased @6.94 ea and will last for many years. A real ease for the Judge’s to carry their materials.


The newly developed storage cart for the AutoMARK ballot marking device (for disabled voters) has made transporting easier with less lifting.


The wheeled carts were purchased with federal HAVA grant funding to make testing easier and improve safety for County Clerk staff. The non-tip trays allow each unit to slide out for easy access.


14 of the 58 AutoMARK tables also are housed in this space making more room in the main area. Space was left between for battery charging access and the carts with table space on top were put in front for more working surface.


M-100 ballot counter carts house 20 machines on wheels minimizing heavy lifting and ease & safe transport of machines.


Each M-100 ballot counter is plugged into a surge protector and can be charged with a flick of a switch. In the past, to prepare to charge units would take precious hours, now its a matter of minutes.


Small room next to the elevator – there is a firewall between here and the main area. We had to put this to good usage. All the Judge’s of Election Tote Bags are hung on the wall with materials left over from Clara Hartley Woodard’s era.


Utilized dead space in the fire exit room. We are housing over 450 bags on the old shelf tracking. There is enough room to walk through saving precious floor space.


The tiled area of the warehouse is complete and everything is in its place.


The M650 ballot counting machines (central/provisional counting) are set & ready to go & will not have to be picked up and moved around as in the past.


All overheads are filled with supplies with enough work surface to gather supplies.


Tables were set up for miscellaneous election functions, such as discoveries, central count & proofing. In the past, jobs like this were done in other areas of the building such as the County Board Room & the County Clerk break/snack room.


 

The M-100’s ballot counters are in the House! After months of being stored in the hallway they are now in their permanent and secured home. The door is now blocked off so we could fit as many in this space. Each cart is hooked up for ease of charging.


Around the bend is the remainder of the M-100 ballot counter carts – all 25 carts fit in the “L” shaped area. Improved access will be make it easier for charging equipment & ease of transportation will make preparation quicker at election time!


Hallway overview of M-100 ballot counters.


M-100 ballot counter carts coming around the corner. We filled every possible space!


Around the bend is the remainder of the M-100 ballot counter carts – all 25 carts fit in the “L” shaped area. Improved access will be make it easier for charging equipment & ease of transportation will make preparation quicker at election time!


Each row of the AutoMARK carts is now hooked up so you can charge each row with a flick of a switch helping to better maintain battery life!


New work tables ready for the next gathering of election materials.


Another view of the work tables for preparing elections.


All supplies are on our existing carts & can now be wheeled to the work tables.


Old shelving from the warehouse still being put to good use!


Space for materials are now organized together in one area for efficiency.


Another view showing the neat rows of election equipment.


 

The renovation is complete! Here is a newly completed office with everything in its place and organized for the next election.