Berks County elections officials are planning to build a new facility to store equipment and train local poll workers.

They are taking an election-related expedition on Friday to Gloucester County, New Jersey to see how the county stores its voting equipment.

"We were told that they have actually built and designed a structure to house their electronic voting equipment, as we are looking at the purchase of our electronic poll books we are out of space at the Ag Center's warehousing facility," said County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt.

The current space the county utilized measures out to 1,700 square feet. What the county calls a tight squeeze for scanners, marking devices and poll books. Not to mention more envelope cutters for mail-in ballots, the amount of which increased during the pandemic.

"There's a lot of labor involved, it's not just storing equipment, it's actually rolling out the equipment, getting it updated," said Barnhardt. "Getting all the data out into it the whole process just takes up much more space now."

This is all an effort by county commissioners to learn how to continue to make their election equipment safe and secure in the future.

"Well obviously if it's in its own building and it only has one door in and one door out, we have cameras. We have the right fire suppression equipment, we have the right security there," Barnhardt added.

Barnhardt says the current space is decent but also not climate controlled, which can be bad for electronic equipment. Following the trip, the findings will be reported at the election board meeting next Thursday.

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