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Philadelphia Election Department Enhances Transparency and Efficiency with RFID Technology (IoT Expo China-IOTE® Expo)


As the 2024 presidential election approaches, election authorities across the United States are working diligently to ensure the security and accuracy of the electoral process. In this intersection of technology and tradition, Philadelphia’s election department has become a noteworthy highlight. They have adopted an advanced RFID system, bringing unprecedented transparency and automation to the electoral process.

In past elections, the Philadelphia election department faced a series of challenges. They needed to track a large number of voting equipment and materials, including voting machines, ballots, and media sticks, ensuring they were used in the correct locations and at the right times. Traditionally, this process relied on pen-and-paper records and manual counting, which was both time-consuming and prone to errors. Additionally, the loss or misplacement of critical equipment like media sticks could raise questions about the integrity of the election process.

To address these issues, the Philadelphia election department decided to introduce RFID technology. After careful consideration, they chose InThing’s Voting Equipment Tracking Software (VETS) as the foundation of their solution. This software combines features such as chain-of-custody management, precinct-based matching, and voting kit auditing, providing comprehensive digital tracking and management for the electoral process.


During implementation, the Philadelphia election department installed fixed and mobile RFID readers in key warehouses, polling locations, and during transportation. These readers can automatically read RFID tags attached to voting equipment and materials, updating their status and location in real-time. Through a dedicated government cloud server, the election department can monitor the location and movement of all voting assets at any time.

The advantages of this system are that it significantly enhances the transparency and accuracy of the electoral process. Processes that previously required manual counting and checks are now automated by the RFID system, reducing the potential for errors and greatly improving efficiency. Furthermore, the system can provide real-time alerts in case of any anomalies, helping election workers to respond promptly.

Government officials point out that in addition to improving efficiency and accuracy, this solution also reduces the stress on election workers. Tasks that previously required extensive manual counting are now automated by the system, reducing the likelihood of overtime and errors. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances people’s trust in the electoral process.

Moreover, fixed RFID readers provide additional anti-error security. They can issue alerts to users when assets are taken or placed incorrectly, further enhancing the integrity of the electoral process, ensuring that every voter’s ballot is accurately recorded and counted.

Although RFID technology has been widely used in other fields, its application in elections is a relatively new endeavor. The innovative practices of the Philadelphia election department not only improve their efficiency and quality of work but also provide a valuable example for election authorities in other regions.

In the future, as technology advances and people’s demand for transparency in the electoral process continues to grow, we can expect to see more similar technologies applied to elections. Whether it’s RFID, blockchain, or other advanced technologies, they will play an increasingly important role in ensuring fair, accurate, and transparent elections.

This paper is from Ulink Media, Shenzhen, China, the organizer of IOTE EXPO (IoT Expo in China)

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