It’s being pitched as the latest voting reform elixir, widely adopted by counties across the country, but a call for proposals to create and operate a so-called electronic voting book system for the San Diego County Registrar of Voters comes amidst rising questions about costs, reliability, and security against Russian hackers. “The Electronic Poll Book system eliminates manual voter lookup, promoting shorter check-in queues with better and immediate alerts for staff or voter guidance,” says the county’s June 26 request for proposals, kicking off a solicitation for services from would-be vendors set to close July 25. “The Electronic Poll Book system will decrease the time it takes to manually complete the election canvass while using fewer resources,” per the document. “As the voter roster increases, the Electronic Poll Book system shall scale up. This allows the County to meet a growing base without impacting the voting experience.” But as with all such outsourcing, the devil is in the details, heavily dependent on the good faith and integrity of vendors, and experiences elsewhere have flashed repeated warnings about the cutting-edge systems.Full Article: Russian hackers haunt San Diego Electronic Poll Book | San Diego Reader.
electronic poll book
National: Technology has made voting lines move faster but also made elections less secure | Miles Parks/NPR
From 8 a.m. to noon on Election Day last November, voting in Johnson County, Ind., ground to a halt. Lines at precincts across the county, just south of Indianapolis, swelled. Some voters waited hours to cast a ballot; some left furious that they were unable to do so. “People weren’t happy. People had to leave and go to work,” said Cindy Rapp, the Democratic member on Johnson County’s election board. The county votes on electronic voting machines, which don’t provide a paper trail — something cybersecurity experts vehemently warn against. But those machines weren’t what caused the issue in November. Instead, the problem came from the computer system, known as an electronic poll book, that poll workers were using to check people in. Increasingly, more and more states and voting jurisdictions are using these systems to speed up and improve in-person voting. According to federal data, nearly half of all voters who voted in person in 2016 signed in at their polling place using an electronic poll book. That’s up from 27 percent just one presidential election prior. Like many issues surrounding elections, moving from paper to a digital process may bring convenience, but it also brings big questions about security and reliability.Full Article: Technology has made voting lines move faster but also made elections less secure | MPR News.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Kansans who went to the polls Tuesday ran into an unexpected problem when they provided required photo identification. The foul-up — involving a new driver’s license called Real ID — did not appear to affect anyone’s right to vote. But it was an inconvenience for voters and poll workers, and it suggests Kansas needs to pay closer attention to the basic tools for casting ballots. The snafu may also feed doubts about the state’s voter ID requirements, Real ID, safety and the right to vote. Kansas began issuing Real ID driver’s licenses in August. They’re part of a national program designed to strengthen identification documents in the states. By the year 2020, you’ll need a Real ID-compliant license to fly on an airline. Real ID driver’s licenses include a white star in the corner and two pictures of the license holder. On the back, there are bar codes that provide information about the holder.Full Article: Kansas Real ID issue on Election Day raises questions, concerns | The Kansas City Star.
Wisconsin: Elections Commission to make e-poll book technology available to cities, towns | WiscNews
The state Elections Commission says it’s giving municipalities the tools to implement electronic, instead of paper, poll books in time for the 2018 election cycle. Commissioners in June approved building an electronic poll book system and offering the software, at no cost, to Wisconsin’s municipal clerks, who partner with the commission to administer elections. The commission says it intends to pilot the system in at least three jurisdictions in the 2018 spring elections and make it available to all for the 2018 August primary election.Full Article: Catching Up: Elections Commission to make e-poll book technology available to cities, towns | State-and-regional | wiscnews.com.
New Hampshire: As state considers letting towns upgrade polling tech, vendors show off wares | Concord Monitor
If New Hampshire allows electronic check-in at polling places, replacing ballot clerks drawing lines through voter names in printed books with people touching icons on computer tablet screens, it will be due in part to one unlikely motivation: the alphabet. “There’s nothing more frustrating to a voter than standing in line because your name starts with the letters A to D, but the M-to-Z check-in line is empty. … This eliminates that,” said Rob Rock, the director of elections for Rhode Island, describing his state’s experience with what are known as electronic poll books. Speed and convenience, both for voters and for polling-place workers, were big selling points Friday as vendors of five companies that make e-poll books pitched their wares to state and local election officials in the Legislative Office Building.Full Article: As N.H. considers letting towns upgrade polling tech, vendors show off wares in Concord.
Ohio: Cuyahoga County Board of Elections chooses Tenex as electronic poll book vendor | Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cuyahoga County voters will check in on electronic poll books beginning in November, using equipment from Tenex Software Solutions. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections unanimously approved the purchase on Tuesday, following a recommendation by director Pat McDonald and his staff at its meeting last month. The board authorized officials to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the company, state and county, McDonald said in an email. The board will buy 1,450 electronic poll books at a cost of $1.7 million. The state is paying 85 percent of the cost. Electronic poll books will replace the large, paper rosters of registered voters at each voting location. The county plans to phase in the software during primary and special elections before launching them countywide in November.Full Article: Cuyahoga County Board of Elections chooses Tenex as electronic poll book vendor | cleveland.com.