(Posted Sept. 24, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
New check-in technology will greet Madison County voters who cast ballots at the polls for the Nov. 3 election.
The Madison County Board of Elections (BOE) is purchasing electronic poll books for all of its polling locations. The electronic tablets scan a voter’s driver’s license to instantly retrieve voter information for verification. This eliminates the need for poll workers to flip through pages of a paper register to find the same information.
“It also eliminates long lines because voters can go to any line at any time. They will all have the same exact wait time,” said Tim Ward, BOE director.
The BOE tested two brands of electronic poll books during the May primary in London. They found that the devices reduced check-in time from three minutes to less than one minute per person.
The electronic poll books also make post-election work easier for BOE staffers. Instead of signing a paper register, voters sign the electronic tablet. The signatures are archived digitally, so elections workers no longer need to scan and index the updated signatures. What took a week before will now involve just a two-hour download, Ward said.
On Sept. 21, the Madison County commissioners approved Ward’s request to purchase 37 KNOWiNK Poll Pads, an Apple iPad product, for $59,500. The Ohio Department of Administrative Services will cover about $40,000 of the cost. The BOE will pay the remaining cost from the local election revenue account.