E-poll books should speed voting

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By Irum Ibrahim
Entirely East Lansing

A new polling system called the electronic poll book will welcome voters at each precinct in East Lansing on Tuesday.

Free to communities around the nation through the Help America Vote Act, e-poll books will bring many changes to election night.

According to East Lansing council members, changes will include shorter lines for voters and quicker, more convenient voting. Additionally, the e-poll book will result in less paperwork and fewer clerical errors for election clerks.

Instead of using paper poll books, voters will hand election workers their license or ID card. The identification will then be scanned for the election worker to determine if the voter is at the right precinct.

“I think older voters may be concerned about privacy but they need not be. It is not connected to the internet and we only use it for verification purposes,” said City Clerk Marie Wicks. “Younger voters will think it’s cool and I hope they think about working for me during the next election!”

Walker City Clerk Sarah Bydalek said e-poll books have been a successful measure whenever used by voters in Walker.

“The best feature is that when people come to the polls, they can swipe their driver’s license and easily find their name, rather than trying to find the name and highlight it in the pages of the book,” Bydalek said.

After performing efficiently at four precincts last year, e-poll books will be used in all 17 precincts during general elections this year.

The new polling system is an attempt to better consolidate the role of election workers, process votes quicker and with more accuracy, and to stay up to date on voter registration and absentee voter data. According to Wicks, e-poll books will also eliminate paper and follow-up work in the office.

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