Electronic poll books to streamline voting

Published 10:56 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cutting down the time it takes to vote is one of the main goals for upgrading equipment when the county’s board of elections goes to electronic poll books.

“We have been evaluating for a little over a year ways that we can decrease voter wait time at the polls and speed up the voting process as well,” Mark McCown, vice chair of the BOE, said.

With electronic poll books, workers will no longer have to go through multiple hard copy books, but instead a single electronic one at each location.

“Right now you go to a multiple precinct location and you have to figure out where you are registered at,” McCown said. “With consolidation all data is registered and you can go up to any table and they will correctly send you through the process.”

The voter will present a photo ID and the electronic book will pull up that individual’s information. Right now the process of signing in takes approximately two minutes. The electronic method will cut that down to 30 seconds.

“It will increase accuracy,” McCown said. “It will have the entire county data on it. It will say you are in the wrong location and here is the location where you need to go.”

The BOE is financing the $135,000 cost through the county treasurer Stephen Burcham’s Neighborhood Investment Program where the county commissioners will issue a bond and the treasurer will purchase it.

Terms are five years for 2 and 1/4 years. The BOE will repay this out of the general fund.

Burcham started the program about four years ago to increase the amount of interest the county can get from its investments while offering a lower rate to governmental entities for their bond from what they could get from a bank.

Along with the BOE bond, Ironton is issuing a bond for $136,000 for a new garbage truck for four years at 1.75 percent. This is the third time the city has participated in Burcham’s program.