Date: May 2022
Part of preparing for an election includes the set up and inspection of electronic voting equipment. Some members store this equipment in a centralized place. Others keep it in multiple locations, including individual voting precincts whether owned by the county or not. Election season is an opportune time to revisit the loss potential inherent in this costly, infrequently used equipment and how MCIT coverage applies.
EDP Equipment Coverage
MCIT considers electronic voting equipment, consisting of tabulators, ballot markers and ballot readers, as electronic data processing (EDP) equipment for coverage purposes. EDP is defined as “an arrangement of interrelating electronic components and related accessories that can accept and manipulate data into a desired format or result.”
MCIT’s EDP coverage provides coverage for standard property exposures, including damage caused by fire, water, vandalism and theft. And it expands coverage to exposures unique to the intricate workings of electronic equipment.
For example, EDP covers damage to the equipment caused by lightning whether the strike occurs on or off member property. EDP also covers damage caused by artificially generated power surges and extreme changes in temperature, including dampness or dryness.
Unlike building and auto coverage, members do not schedule each piece of EDP equipment. EDP coverage is provided on a “blanket limit” basis, or the total value of the member’s electronic equipment, which establishes the amount of coverage available in the event of loss.
For EDP coverage to apply, the equipment must be included on the member’s single EDP inventory. This updated inventory must be provided to MCIT at a minimum in April of each year and should include specifics about all covered electronic equipment owned by the member including its description, model number and replacement cost value.
Equipment must be represented on the inventory for coverage to apply. MCIT recommends that members develop protocols that ensure all voting equipment owned by them are represented on their single EDP inventory with an accurate replacement cost value.
Coverage is not provided for the types of property covered under EDP that is determined to have been acquired by a member more than 60 days prior to the submission date of the EDP inventory to MCIT but not included in the inventory. Coverage is not provided for the types of property covered under EDP that is determined to have been acquired by a member more than 60 days prior to the submission date of the EDP inventory to MCIT but not included in the inventory.
Voting Equipment Stored Off County Property or at Temporary Locations
Some members choose to transport the equipment to voting sites each election, while others choose to store the equipment at individual voting sites. MCIT coverage extends to the equipment when in transit.
Quite often voting site facilities, where equipment may be stored, are not owned by the county. That can present a potential for loss from storage conditions or lack of knowledge of appropriate handling at the location.
MCIT members work hard to establish policies and procedures to ensure their premises are well-maintained and secure. When member-owned equipment is entrusted to noncounty facilities, for example those owned by townships, schools, churches and cities, members give up their control over the premises.
Reduced control of a location inherently increases the threat of theft, vandalism and damage from general physical handling. Others’ facility managers may have less diligent maintenance procedures, thus raising the possibility of damage caused by water, moisture and temperature changes.
MCIT’s EDP coverage extends to electronic voting equipment at these locations, but it is strongly recommended that members take appropriate steps to ensure safeguards are in place to protect the equipment. MCIT also recommends that members work with facility owners to establish and agree about the level of security and facility oversight that is necessary to protect the member’s property adequately.
For more information about coverage for voting equipment, members can contact MCIT toll-free at 1.866.547.6516 or see the Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Coverage .