Additional Appropriation for E-Poll Books to be Advertised

E-poll books are being considered for Marshall County.

Steve Shamo from KnowInk demonstrated how the digital process would work to the Marshall County Council members Monday morning. A driver’s license or a legal state I.D. card is scanned, and the voter’s information comes up on the screen. The voter then provides a signature on the screen. Once the signatures are compared, a receipt is printed, and the voter takes that receipt to a poll worker who then sets up a ballot for voting purposes.

The council members asked questions about connectivity issues. Shamo explained that WiFi or an internet hot spot would need to be on site in order for the software to function. Clerk Deb Vandemark said seven of the 14 precinct voting locations do offer WiFi service. A password would need to be obtained for the poll workers to use the service. A plan would need to be formulated to find internet connectivity for the other locations.

E-poll books are a way to streamline the voting process, especially if vote centers become a reality. E-poll books at voting centers would allow a voter to vote anywhere in the state, not just at their polling site in their voting jurisdiction.

Clerk Deb Vandemark explained that the original proposal was amended to include three more iPads for a total of 18 at a cost of $35,010. The network package was omitted from the proposal.

The council approved action to advertise the total cost as an additional appropriation from the cumulative capital funds budget as the money was not budgeted in the clerk’s budget for this year. A decision on the request will be made at the council’s next meeting in May.