In California, this year's U.S. presidential election results were up in the air—literally. On election night (November 3), the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department began using its helicopter fleet to securely deliver ballot boxes to the county registrar in Norwalk.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said the ballot airlift was part of his department’s efforts to provide election security. “We just want everyone to know and respect everyone’s right to vote and not to interfere with the voting process,” he said. Ballot boxes were transported to and loaded on department helicopters by deputies on the night of November 3 at several heliports throughout the county.
Founded in 1926 with five volunteer fixed-wing pilots, today the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Aero Bureau is based at Long Beach and patrols an area of 1,500 sq mi. It is the largest helicopter unit operated by any U.S. sheriff's department and operates a mixed fleet of 18 Airbus H125 and AS332 helicopters.