Marshall County Commissioners Approve Move to E-Poll Books

Marshall County voters will soon have a new way to sign-in to vote at the polls.

Steve Shamo from KnowInk gave the commissioners a demonstration of how e-poll books can save a lot of hassle at voting sites. The voter’s Driver’s License is swiped into a reader that confirms the voter’s identity on an iPad screen. The voter then signs with a finger or iPad writing device. The poll worker can confirm that the Driver’s License signature matches the handwritten signature. The voter can also be manually input into the system. A receipt will print to show that the voter did sign in at the polls. Once that process is done, a legal ballot may be filled out and submitted.

Shamo stated that internet access would be needed. A hot spot could be initiated that is registered with the county. Representatives will do site visits to see what kind of connectivity is needed.

The poll books could be printed out as a fail-safe, but this process is to cut down on the work needed at the polls. Shamo said poll workers are not as easy to come by as in previous elections.

Marshall County has 29 precincts with 14 vote sites, and three of them are shared.

In addition to ease, Clerk Deb Vandemark said this will help with the change in the audit law.

“You used to have two weeks to verify actual votes against sign-ins and that’s going to be changing to three days,” said Vandemark.

The Marshall County Election Board members approved the move to e-poll books at their meeting last week.

The commissioners unanimously approved a motion to allow Clerk Deb Vandemark to approach the county council to request $32,000 in funds to purchase the iPads and printers.