During Tuesday’s election in Lisbon, poll workers (PEOs) tested Poll Pads, i.e., the electronic poll books (EPBs) we are considering using for future elections. EPBs are rapidly replacing paper-based election registers in Iowa and across the nation.
Overall, Tuesday’s test of the Poll Pads was successful, i.e., the PEOs efficiently checked-in the voters and dispensed ballots. When the election concluded, the Poll Pad provided reports – see attached – that are as yet unavailable from the other two EPBs being used in Iowa.
The Voter Turnout reports from the Poll Pad allowed us to review when voters checked-in to vote. For example, the best time to go to vote on Tuesday was at 7am, Noon, or after 7pm. The dip in voters at Noon is a surprise because we always thought there was a surge of voters over the lunch hour, but that was not the case on Tuesday.
Another report is the Types of Voter ID used. Even though the Iowa Secretary of State mailed out over 120,000 voter ID cards in December, only one was presented at the voter check-in table. This is the type of data we need to see to understand what types of IDs the voters have or do not have.
Imagine if you knew in advance if the polls were busy BEFORE you headed to the polls. When we go to the airport, we can see if our plane is going to arrive on-time or takeoff on-time. Election administrators are not asking for too much when we ask for funds to modernize our elections; we are only asking to use the technology that is available to everyone else in the country.
Poll Pad technology is available now. We demonstrated it on Tuesday. How much is it worth to you? How much is your time worth? What technology should be used to administer elections in Linn County? If you have an opinion on this topic, send an email to mailto:Joel.Miller – Linn County Auditor