The Electronic Poll Book
The electronic poll book is integral to the success of the Vote Center Model. Computer Judges need to be able to process any voter from the county at any Vote Center, not just those within one particular precinct. Voters need the flexibility of being able to vote their correct ballot style anywhere in the county without worrying about election fraud. Election officials need to make sure no one votes at more than one Vote Center on Election Day. The electronic poll book makes this all possible.
The electronic poll book serves the same function as a paper poll book, providing each Vote Center with a list of registered voters eligible to vote at that location. An electronic version of the poll book has the additional benefits of being more time efficient, less prone to human error and able to pull information from our county voter registration databases through secure, encrypted dedicated servers.
At a Vote Center, a trained Computer Judge verifies the voter's identification and keys the voter's information into a simple, user-friendly screen. The electronic poll book then verifies whether the voter is eligible to vote and lets the Computer Judge know whether the voter has already voted by another means. For example, if the voter already voted by mail-in ballot the electronic poll book prevents the voter from voting twice. In addition, once a voter is credited for having voted, that information is transmitted in real time to all Vote Centers in the county to prevent that voter from voting twice.
The Larimer County poll book has the added benefit of including an electronic street index. If a voter has moved more than thirty days prior to an election and has not updated his or her address, the poll worker can quickly retrieve his or her correct ballot style based upon the new address.
An electronic poll book provides the following benefits to election officials:
- An electronic poll book can be designed to process each voter in 30 seconds or less.
- An electronic poll book greatly reduces the human error associated with looking up a voter in a small-print, voluminous paper poll book.
- All Vote Centers can be connected in real time to eliminate the possibility of persons voting twice.
- The electronic poll book can be encrypted using 128-bit encryption, the same encryption used in electronic banking transactions, and placed on a dedicated, private server to allow secure connectivity between Vote Centers and the elections department office.
- Watcher reports can be run at any time and sent to parties electronically, saving parties the costs associated with sending watchers to Vote Centers.
- In the event of a system failure, the electronic poll book can be backed up on a second server in real time and by providing each polling place with a compact disc and paper version of the poll book.
- Printing costs of paper poll books are greatly reduced.
- Last minute changes to the electronic poll book are easy to accommodate.
- The electronic poll book can be designed to be entirely user-friendly and requiring only basic comfort-level with computers on the part of election workers.
- The electronic poll book can be designed so as to pull voter information from a county or statewide voter registration database without actually affecting the database itself. Poll workers can be given access to view voter information without being able to make any changes to voter registration status.
- A poll worker can quickly determine the registration status of any voter in the entire county.
- The electronic poll book can be created on common bundled software such as Microsoft Access.
- Following Election Day, voter history can be quickly and accurately uploaded into the county voter registration database.
With the Vote Center Model, Computer Judges need quick and easy access to every voter's registration information from the county, not just those voters from one precinct. An electronic poll book allows election workers to process voters from a larger geographic region with more efficiency. An electronic poll book can accommodate anticipated changes in voting accessibility at both local and statewide levels. Voters can thus vote with greater flexibility without any loss in confidence over the security of the voting process.
For additional information on the electronic poll book, please contact Thad Pawlikowski at (970) 498-7820.