Minnehaha County commissioners Tuesday postponed deciding where residents will be allowed to vote in next year’s elections after expressing doubts about the effectiveness of electronic poll books. The Sioux Falls School District was first in the state to experiment with e-poll books and voting centers in 2011 with Secretary of State Jason Gant’s encouragement. Since then, several other local governments have used the system, which enables residents to vote at any of several voting sites throughout the jurisdiction. The electronic poll books ensure people don’t vote more than once. One problem the school district had was getting enough ballots to each voting center. Because any voter can go to any polling place to vote, each site must stock ballots that contain every combination of races that day.
Minnehaha County Auditor Bob Litz was stumped Tuesday by several questions from commissioners, who unanimously postponed until January further consideration of the voting center proposal for the 2014 school, city and state elections.
Commissioners wanted to know about information technology support in the event of system failures on the day of an election. They also wanted to know how the system would handle voting in state elections that stretched across the Minnehaha and Lincoln county line.
“Right now, to me, this is horribly confusing. I can imagine how confusing it is going to be to the voters,” commissioner Dick Kelly said.