Locally designed ballot boxes collecting votes across the country

A local company is helping secure the vote through the ballot drop box. LaserFab Inc. in Puyallup makes Vote Armor ballot drop boxes that will be used in a dozen states for the November election

It all started a decade ago when Pierce County Elections needed to replace their ballot boxes and wanted to work with a local company.

“Now we’ve been dealing with hundreds of counties all across the country,” said Larry Olson, Vice President of LaserFab Inc. “We’ve got over 750 boxes nationwide and over 200 of them have been shipped out since June. Almost a third of everything we’ve done in ten years has been in the last ten months.”

Olson said in the early years, the first big customers were in Oregon, Colorado and Washington.

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“We had a couple big breaks. The first one was King County. Before, we had shipped off eight boxes to this county, five boxes to that county. King County, their first order was for 38. We were all like, wow.”

The drop boxes are now in far off places that include Honolulu, Hawaii, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Madison, Wisconsin.

The biggest order to date is from Orange County, California where more than 100 Puyallup-made drop boxes will receive ballots from voters this election.

“Basically every question of the design came back to, how do we uphold the integrity of the process,” said Olson.

The largest ballot drop box weighs more than a thousand pounds and is cemented into the ground with eight inch bolts. It’s waterproof and designed to let rain roll right off the metal box. There’s a fire retardant on the inside of the box.

The slot is only a quarter inch so only one or two ballots can be dropped in at a time. Election workers are the only ones who have access to the boxes, and it has a foolproof design to stay wide open if the door isn’t shut and locked away.

“This isn’t going to be the end of it, 2020 isn’t. It’s going to keep going,” said Olson, who believes mail-in voting is going to keep growing across the country.