Technology purchased to help speed up the voting process in Kleberg County will not be available on Election Day, officials said this week.
Kleberg County had previously purchased 34 iPads to be used with an application called Poll Pad that did away with the paper sign in process at polling stations. The system was first used during last November’s constitutional election and was successfully used during the Primary Election in March. Election personnel at the polling stations were able to use the tablet’s camera to scan a voter’s driver’s license or voter registration card, and the system automatically matched the voter to a database stored on the device. On Wednesday, Kleberg County Clerk Stephanie Garza said the Poll Pads were used during the first three days of early voting, but she and her staff immediately encountered a problem.
The data could not be retrieved from the devices on Oct. 20-22, and calls to the vendor, Know Ink, did not yield any results. The key issue, Garza said, was that while the data was successfully stored on the devices, the application would not upload it so that it could be retrieved. That was met with strong disapproval, and some accusations of misconduct, from candidates who were asking for daily reports on early voting.
“The candidates were getting ugly,” Garza said. She added that any allegations of wrongdoing on her part were, “ridiculous.”
On Oct. 23, Garza made the decision to stop using the iPads and to return to the paper system used in past elections. “I couldn’t continue the election not knowing if the Poll Pads are going to be working,” she said.