Poll workers won’t be shuffling through papers to verify voter registration information at many Davidson County precincts during August’s election. New electronic poll books will do the work for them. The Davidson County Election Commission, following a $777,000 purchase, is making the transition from paper poll books to electronic versions at 60 of the city’s 160 precincts beginning this election cycle. Early voting for state primaries and Metro school board races begins Friday, but the commission won’t roll out the new machines until the Aug. 2 election. “They speed up the process for the voter and they greatly reduce the opportunities for errors,” Elections Administrator Albert Tieche said, adding that the electronic poll books are identical to versions the Shelby County Election Commission uses.
Voters will spot the new electronic poll books utilized by election workers at greeting desks prior to entering the voting booth. In all, the election commission purchased 440 electronic poll books. Large precincts will employ as many as four of the e-books, he said, while smaller precincts will have two. At least one polling location in all 35 council districts will have electronic poll books.
Tieche said when voters show their voting identification, poll workers can find their registration and precinct information by using the touchscreen devices. He said a more common usage of the electronic poll book would be to scan the bar codes of a voters’ driver’s license or voter ID card to verify voters are registered and at the correct precinct.