New Hampshire: Expert says electronic pollbooks for voters need more testing | New Hampshire Union Leader

An expert on the use of electronics for elections said to date, no electronic voter registration and checklist system “is ready for prime time.” Legislation allowing Manchester, Hooksett and Durham to use “electronic poll books” during the September primary and November general elections will be decided Thursday by the Senate. Tuesday Andrew Schwarzmann, head of the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut and director of the Center for voting Technology Research said every poll book system his center has tested has faults that need to be addressed and are not ready for implementation.

Illinois: McHenry County clerk: Election Day communication issues are being addressed | Daily Herald

McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan promised to improve future elections after a State Board of Elections review concluded some eligible voters may not have been able to cast their ballots on Election Day in March. In a memo released last month, Kenneth Menzel, general counsel for the board of elections, detailed two main issues with the general primary in McHenry County: Communication problems and glitches in the electronic poll books that allow election officials to review voter data. “Neither of these issues impacted the ballot tabulation operations, and we have not found anything that calls into question the accuracy of the vote totals processed and reported,” Menzel said. “The issues may, however, have resulted in some eligible or potentially eligible voters not casting ballots.”

Ohio: Hamilton County Board of Elections Investigation Into Voting Difficulties Underway | CityBeat

The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating difficulties a number of voters faced last week as they sought to weigh in on controversial local and state ballot issues. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted called for the investigation in light of hurdles voters faced Nov. 3. Those problems led to an order to keep polls in the county open an extra hour and a half. While the board’s investigation continues ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline, officials say the county’s new electronic voting system might have played a role. For some in Hamilton County, voting was arduous, with technical glitches forcing voters to cast provisional ballots and imprecise information given by poll workers sending other voters scrambling. At least some of these problems, officials say, were likely caused by a mistake involving an erroneous date entered into the electronic system that left it unable to recognize voters who registered after that date. The difficulties could spell trouble during next year’s sure-to-be-contentious presidential election, where Ohio will play a central role.

Indiana: Lawson confident no problem with electronic poll books | NWI

Secretary of State Connie Lawson said Friday she is confident there was not a problem with the new electronic poll books used in the May primary election in Porter County. Claims were made that the new poll books resulted in delays and other problems for voters. Kathy Kozuszek, Democrat director of the Porter County Voter Registration, who opposed purchasing the electronic poll books, said in May that the issue could be serious enough for candidates to call for a new election.

Indiana: Counties to get state funds to help cover e-pollbook costs | The News Herald

Although the devices won’t be ready in time for the Nov. 3 election, Lake and Geauga counties soon will be purchasing e-pollbooks, thanks to state aid. About $12.7 million in funding was appropriated in the state’s biennial budget passed in June to cover up to 85 percent of each county’s purchase cost. Funds will be distributed based on the number of voters in each county, according to a news release from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office. Counties were given the go-ahead to purchase e-pollbooks Sept. 14 from the Secretary of State’s office.

Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board moves toward use of electronic pollbooks | Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has edged closer to embracing electronic pollbooks, voting Tuesday to develop ground rules for their use. The board also voted to ask state lawmakers to decide when Wisconsin lobbyists should be permitted to donate to presidential candidates, including Gov. Scott Walker. The board — made up of six former judges tasked with overseeing the state’s campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws — voted 4-2 for the electronic pollbook motion at its regular meeting. The motion authorizes board staff to develop standards and procedures for the use of e-pollbooks, which are laptops or tablets that replace paper pollbooks.

Illinois: Vendor suing DuPage County election commission | Daily Herald

A DuPage County judge is being asked to decide whether the county’s election commission failed to give a San Diego-based company a fair opportunity to compete for a contract. Votec Corp. initially filed a protest with the county’s procurement office after the DuPage County Election Commission in November awarded Hart InterCivic a nearly $500,000 deal to supply the commission with electronic poll books, which are computerized logs to check in voters at the polls. Votec claimed in its protest that the election commission “violated and/or failed to adhere to” its procurement ordinance when it awarded the contract. But after reviewing Votec’s protest, the county’s chief procurement officer, John Meneghini, rejected it. Then an appeal of Meneghini’s decision was denied by commission Chairwoman Cathy Ficker Terrill.

Indiana: Opinions mixed on Porter County’s new electronic poll books | Chicago Tribune

How the first Porter County election with new electronic poll books went depends on who’s asked. From the standpoint of Kathy Kozuszek, Democratic representative in the county’s Voter Registration Office and a member by proxy of the county’s election board, the equipment was rife with glitches and errors during Tuesday’s primary, something she’s raised red flags about for some time now. As David Bengs, a Republican who’s president of the election board, sees it, there were some problems but overall, the feedback he received from poll workers was that they liked the equipment, which has been steeped in controversy.

Alabama: Montgomery to be testing ground for new technology at polls | WSFA

Montgomery will be the first spot in the state where a new pilot program will be tested out at the polls in the upcoming municipal election. Secretary of State John Merrill discussed the plan for electronic poll books with Montgomery council members during their work session Tuesday afternoon, saying it will modernize the election process by speeding up check-in. ID’s will be scanned when voters arrive at their polling place, making things more efficient and helping to eliminate lines.

Indiana: Early poll book problems widespread in Porter County – Post-Tribune

Early voters in Porter County faced challenges when they went to the polls Tuesday and the county’s new electronic poll books weren’t working. “As of 7 o’clock this morning, there were at least 30 (polling places) that weren’t online. They were all over,” said Kathy Kozuszek, Democratic director in the county’s Voter Registration Office. “Everything was up and running by 8 o’clock.” The problems, she said, ran the gamut, from not having enough routers for each electronic poll book, which scans identification cards and offers an electronic signature pad for voters, to not having the necessary Internet connection at Woodland Park in Portage for the equipment to work.

Mississippi: E-poll books spark controversy | Desoto Times Tribune

A plan put forth by the DeSoto County Election Commission to place a minimum of two electronic poll books at each of the county’s 39 precincts at a total cost of $172,000 has been put on hold for at least another two weeks. The DeSoto County Election Commission has set aside funds to pay for the e-poll books and did not ask county supervisors Monday for any more funds to pay for the new devices. The plan for the new electronic poll books, which would eventually replace paper poll books, was approved by four of the county’s five election commissioners. District 5 Election Commissioner Tina Hill is the lone holdout, saying that she expressed reservations about implementing the e-poll books at the present time, saying that new scanners need to be purchased instead.

Ohio: “E-polling” coming to Hamilton County | WVXU

Hamilton County’s polling places could soon replace paper poll books with electronic ones – possibly by November’s election. The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday morning to authorize its staff to prepare a contract with Tenax, a Florida company, to place the electronic poll books in all 373 of the county’s polling places. Voters would have their identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, scanned and would automatically be given the correct ballot for their precinct. If voters were in the wrong polling place, it would print out directions to their proper polling places.

Illinois: Company protesting contract awarded by DuPage election agency | Daily Herald

A San Diego-based company wants the DuPage County Election Commission to rebid a contract for electronic poll books after claiming the agency didn’t give it a fair opportunity to compete for the work. Votec Corp. filed a protest with the county’s procurement office after the election commission decided in November to award Hart InterCivic a nearly $500,000 contract to supply the commission with computerized logs to check in voters at the polls. In its protest, Votec claims the election commission “violated and/or failed to adhere to” its procurement ordinance. “They (Votec) feel that the process was not a truly full and open competition,” said Jim Rome, an attorney representing the company.

Wyoming: House committee clears e-pollbooks, vote centers | Wyoming Tribune Eagle

A House committee gave its approval Tuesday to a bill that would allow county clerks to begin using electronic pollbooks and vote centers instead of traditional polling places on Election Day. Senate File 52 would allow county clerks to replace their existing paper pollbooks with electronic books for the purposes of keeping track of who is registered to vote, who has voted and where they voted. With electronic pollbooks, clerks would also be able to open “vote centers,” or polling places where anyone in a given jurisdiction can vote on Election Day, regardless of where they live within that jurisdiction. The idea of the bill is to provide better access to voters, particularly for jurisdictions where some far-flung polling places are having trouble staying open due to a lack of election judges. It also, in the case of elementary schools, would help alleviate any safety concerns about interaction between schoolchildren and the voting public.

Wyoming: Bill Proposes Voting Centers and E-Poll Books | KCWY

Your neighborhood polling place may join typewriters and Model T’s if one bill passes the legislature. News 13’s Cody O’Hara spoke with senators favoring the bill who say it will increase voter turnout, as well as one who says he sees this as a way to close some polling places. “We need to make it easier for people to vote and this bill goes in the opposite direction,” said Senator Charlie Scott of Natrona County. A bill being held back in the Senate until Wednesday would allow electronic voter check in at any local polls as well as establish optional voting centers, but some senators say it will lead to polling place closures. “I don’t know of any clerk who has any intention to close any existing polling places,” said Senator Cale Case of Natrona County.

Ohio: $760,920 sought to replace poll books in Lucas County | Toledo Blade

Anyone who votes in Lucas County knows that there’s a limit to how far the computer revolution has invaded the election process. At each of the approximately 350 precinct locations, poll workers flip through paper binders to locate a voter’s name, and then the voter signs his or her name in that book. After the election, those binders then go back to the Lucas County Board of Elections office to be audited, page by page, to verify who voted and who didn’t. While that time-honored process is not going to change in time for the Nov. 4 election, the Lucas County Board of Elections would like to replace the old paper and pen method with computerized tablets at least in time for the 2016 presidential election.

Indiana: Cass County prepares for new e-pollbooks | Pharos-Tribune

Cass County is preparing its new pollbook equipment for the upcoming primary election. The county was forced to seek out a new pollbook vendor after its former provider declined to go through a new certification process brought on through recent changes made by the Indiana General Assembly. After considering several quotes, the Cass County Election Board decided to get the new electronic pollbooks from Hart InterCivic, out of Austin, Texas. It is the same company that provides the county’s electronic equipment voters use to cast their ballots. The cost of the new electronic pollbooks and training for them comes to about $35,000. It was paid for through funds in the Cass County Clerk’s budget specifically earmarked for election equipment awarded from a former vendor that went out of business several years ago.

Indiana: Certification of Tippecanoe County’s voting system reveals, solves 2 computer glitches | Journal and Courier

Tippecanoe County’s certification of its electronic poll books was held up last week because of two glitches. The laptop computers and other hardware arrived at the out-of-state testing lab on March 7, and it should have been an hourlong test to certify the e-poll book, Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said last week before she received notification of the certification on March 12. Valerie Kroeger, communication director for the Secretary of State, said late last week that the initial test of Tippecanoe County’s equipment showed two problems. “When VSTOP (Voting Systems Technical Oversight Program) did the testing, they found two issues,” Kroeger said. “When the computer went to scan the ID, it wasn’t working. And when they went to manually look it up, it didn’t work.”

Illinois: Chicago’s Board of Election Commissioners Introduces Electronic Poll Books | WTTW

Chicagoans who vote in the March 18 Primary Election will be checked in electronically by election judges instead of through paper poll books at all 2,069 precincts. Election Board Chairman Langdon Neal announced the introduction of electronic poll books at a press conference Wednesday. “We are very excited about introducing a networked, digital ‘E Poll Book’ solution,” Neal said. “Our goals with the E Poll Books are to: (1) streamline voter check-in; (2) make election judges’ work more manageable; and (3) safeguard our elections by uploading the very latest in voter-registration data and Early and Absentee voting records – to every precinct, all before the polls open on Election Day at 6:00 am.”

Indiana: As primary voting looms, county eager for state to certify hardware | Journal and Courier

It all seemed so reasonable last year when the Indiana General Assembly adopted a law to require electronic poll books be certified. But theory and practice are often different things. “It has taken what was a reasonable process we’ve been using for five years and made it unreasonable,” Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said, noting that primary voting starts here on April 8, and the county’s hardware has yet to be certified. The county has a digital database of registered voters. Each satellite voting site and vote center connects to the database through an electronic poll book — basically, laptop computers running software specifically designed for that specific purpose. When a voter signs in at a polling site, the electronic poll book immediately updates the database, indicating where and when the person voted. This prevents voter fraud, Coffey explained.

Minnesota: E-pollbook legislation likely, though enthusiasm has faded a bit | MinnPost

Lawmakers will likely move forward with limited electronic-pollbook legislation this session, but it appears that the sense of urgency behind the voting technology has faded a bit. A state Senate committee passed legislation on Wednesday — a day after its House counterpart — that came out of a pollbook task force in late January. The task force recommended yet another study of electronic pollbooks during the 2014 mid-term elections and putting standards for pollbooks in state law. The electronic pollbook systems consist of laptops or tablet computers installed with voting administration software that advocates say improves election speed, helps with accuracy and reduces some costs over the current paper pollbooks.

Nevada: Devices to speed up voting process | Nevada Appeal

Carson City’s consolidated city-county government is moving to electronic poll books for elections. The devices should cut down on voting time and eventually also should save money, though the initial cost will be somewhat higher as voters get identified by the new process in the June primary and November general election here, according to officials at the clerk-recorder’s office. “This is really a major leap forward for elections,” said Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover, citing at least 50 percent faster processing that will precede voting when each voter must be identified. “We’re the first county in the state of Nevada to use them,” added his chief deputy, Sue Merriwether. “They replace the paper rosters on election day.”

Minnesota: Task force that led pilot project on electronic voting rosters backs another study | Star Tribune

A Minnesota panel that led a pilot project around an electronic voter verification process is urging the Legislature to authorize a more extensive study this fall. The Electronic Roster Task Force was meeting Friday to finalize a report and proposed legislation. The recommendations they were set to adopt seek a broader examination of the effectiveness and expense of a higher-tech alternative to the paper sign-in process at polling places. The panel asks the state to pick up costs of the next study and any technological needs required for local election administrators to carry out the test. The review would occur at more sites and in a busier environment than the 2013 pilot. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said a higher turnout election would offer a better handle of the costs versus benefits.

South Dakota: County commissioners wary about e-poll books | The Argus Leader

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.

Indiana: Tippecanoe County in search of new vendor to help certify poll books | Journal and Courier

The county terminated the contract with its election software consultants just six months before the next election. “It is now required in Indiana that electronic poll books have to be certified,” Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said as she explained Monday to county commissioners why the contract needed to end. “Our current vendor, Votec, has determined they are not going to go through that certification process. So not only do we need to terminate this contract, but we need to find a new vendor.” The certification process is reviewed by the Voting Systems Technology Oversight Program, which is operated out of Ball State University in Muncie. The county has used Votec, which is based in San Diego, since the 2011 elections, Coffey said.

Indiana: Shelby County shelves vote centers | The Shelbyville News

A concept that originated in 2010 with discussion that Shelby County officials could save approximately $26,000 by changing how people voted has been given a no vote. It was discussed at that time and then later this year to move Shelby County to voting centers. Voting centers are polling places connected through secure Internet connections, where eligible voters in the county may vote anywhere through an electronic poll book that is updated immediately. Shelby County Clerk Vicki Franklin confirmed this week the Election Board voted to not move toward vote centers at this time but do a consolidation of polling locations.

Arizona: Elections catching up with technology: Changes piloted in November in Pima County | Tucson Citizen

Goodbye, unwieldy manual signature roster books. Hello, tablets. Under a pilot project being implemented by Pima County in the Nov. 5 Vail incorporation election, voters who go to the polls will be able to use a mobile computer that’s smaller than a laptop to sign for their ballots. … The polling places also will no longer use precinct-based scanning equipment. Instead, voters will drop their ballots into a secure box that is under observation at all times by poll workers and then securely transported to a central tabulating facility at the Elections Office located at 6550 S. Country Club Road. Independent observers will continue to oversee the process and results will be audited.

Australia: Electoral staff swap pencils for computers | ABC

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) staff are trialling notebook computers to electronically check-off voters at polling booths around the country. It is the first time notebook computers have been used in a federal election to mark off names and addresses from the electoral roll. Similar devices were used during the ACT election last year and proved successful. AEC spokesman Phil Diak says staff will swap pencils and rulers for the notebooks, making it easier to look-up interstate voters. “We’ll also be able to print ballot papers from the notebooks and that will help us in terms of holding stocks of interstate ballot papers for the House of Representatives,” he said.

Florida: Electronic poll book could help with voting problems | News4

It’s no secret elections Florida have been coming under fire, with long lines, questionable ballots and the time it takes to check if someone is eligible to vote. Now a machine called an electronic poll book could help solve some of that. It’s already used in early voting to verify a voter. Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said he would like to see them in every county precinct on Election Day. He said it will benefit voters in many ways. “Plus, it takes away one of the possibilities that voters can vote twice, which currently today with paper registers they can go from one precinct to the next and vote twice and get away with it Election Day,” Holland said. “The electronic poll book negates that because they are interconnected.”

Missouri: Technology moving elections toward electronic ID | Columbia Missourian

Although Missouri has no photo identification requirement for voting, thousands of residents showed their driver’s licenses to get ballots this year. That could become the new norm because of technological advances that use of the bar codes embedded in driver’s licenses to check in people to vote. In roughly 20 states and about one-fifth of Missouri counties, local election officials this year used laptop computers or tablets to verify eligible voters. In many of those instances, prospective voters provided a driver’s license or voter registration card containing a bar code, which when scanned by poll workers automatically matched their identities against a computerized list of registered voters to determine if they were eligible to vote and in the correct precinct.