The Marshall County Council members held a lengthy discussion about the purchase of e-poll books for the November election.
Clerk Deb Vandemark explained that 15 iPads would be purchased to be placed at all of the voting sites for the purpose of signing in voters at the polls. There are 14 poll sites for the county’s 29 precincts. One extra iPad would be on hand as a backup.
The cost of the iPads and licensing is $32,225, an amount that Vandemark did not budget for this year. She was requesting for an additional appropriation for that amount Monday morning.
Vandemark said the benefit of getting the e-poll books is to save time at the polls, and it would help her with the audit process. She commented that the audit process used to be a two-week process. With the law change, the audit time was slimmed to three days. The audit consists of verifying actual votes with the voters who signed in to vote. Utilizing the iPad would help quicken the process. The information can also be filed electronically rather than do it by hand.
Battery life and the need to get this purchase done for the November election were discussed. Mike Miller from Microvote assured the council members that battery life wouldn’t be an issue with the iPads. If the battery life were to get down to around 30 to 40 percent, the election worker could simply plug in the device with no interruptions. Vandemark said it would be the best idea to get the iPads now to test out the process in the November Municipal Election so any issues could be worked out before next year’s Presidential Election.
As for computer longevity, Marshall anticipates that the iPads would be good for eight to ten years.
The council members voted unanimously to table the decision for another month to do more research into the purchase.