Highway 99:
No Place for Ballots

It was Saturday at 3:30 AM when K&H Integrity Communications’ Dave Haines got the call from a UPS shipping clerk. The news wasn’t good. A 28-foot UPS trailer (called a “pup”) had overturned on Highway 99 in California and its contents —thousands of mail and counter ballots—were strewn all over the road. Dave and his bindery lead took the first plane to Sacramento then drove for an hour to meet the truck. By the time they arrived, UPS had cleared up the ballots and transferred them to another pup. Dave decided that since the chain of custody had been broken, the ballots should be destroyed. However, California state law required that 29 days before the election, a sampling of counter ballots had to be available. It was E-31.


Dave called the county’s Registrar of Voters at 7:00 AM that morning to tell him what had happened and what K&H was doing to resolve the problem. He told the Registrar, who was on his way to take his final CPA exam, not to worry. K&H would handle it.


They moved the pup to a secure facility and the two men spent the next 48 hours going through all the counter ballots, finding ones that weren’t wet or crumpled. In the end they were able to salvage a minimum of 100 in each of the 150 ballot types, organize them, and ship them. By Monday morning the counter ballots were delivered in compliance with the law.


Back at K&H, an emergency team was hard at work. They re-manufactured the lost mail ballots on Saturday, got the envelopes on Monday morning and, by Wednesday, two days after the expected mail drop, the entire mailing had gone out. From Saturday through Wednesday, K&H was able to recover an entire election—and the Registrar passed his CPA exam.        

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