The state Elections Commission will weigh whether to help municipalities adopt electronic poll books — record-keeping devices used in lieu of paper rosters at Election Day polling places. The item is on the agenda for the commission’s Tuesday meeting. E-poll books have not been used in Wisconsin, but the commission says they are used in at least 27 states. Like their paper counterparts, the devices contain lists of registered voters in a municipality, as well as voter signatures and other information about voters. If commissioners move toward the use of e-poll books, they could be employed for the fall 2018 election, according to a spokesman for the commission, Reid Magney.
Magney said officials in various municipalities have expressed interest in e-poll books. Their use would be voluntary for each of the more than 1,800 Wisconsin cities, villages or towns, each of which administer elections within their boundaries.
Commission director Michael Haas acknowledged that e-poll books present security concerns. Such concerns have come to the fore in light of the U.S. intelligence community assessment that Russia intervened to attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. election. A recent Bloomberg report said U.S. officials have concluded Russia’s election-related cyber-attack included incursions into voter databases and software systems in various states, including Illinois.