Electronic poll books to go county wide

By Beth Danziger - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Absentee voting started Monday for those wanting to cast a ballot in June's democratic primary election. But when people go to the polls in Chesterfield county, some new technology may make the process quicker and less stressful.

When the poll doors open June ninth every precinct in Chesterfield will have a computer waiting to check voters in, instead of a big paper book. A new technological process the county hopes not only speeds up voting but helps push that 2008 president primary debacle out of residents minds forever.

"We learned from it we changed things in November we continue to change things to make them better we recognize nothing is perfect," said Chesterfield General Registrar Larry Haake.

The next step on the wave of change is this electronic poll book. Starting with the primary election June 9 every precinct will have two on site. Since each computer program holds every registered voter in the county check in should not only be quick, but get rid of those alphabet lines.

"We used to have look the name up on paper and then there would a second person to assigning a number and then the paper person would put a thing by the name and then other person would be a strike through the number all of that is gone the computer does it automatically," Haake said.

In the past few weeks every poll worker has been trained on the new computer system. They say it's a breeze.

The state help pay for most of the computers. So it just cost the county one hundred dollars a pop. Money Haake says will pay for itself by next year, if not by saving on paper, then on saving on voter time and poll worker stress.

"Out of bad things come good thing if you let it go that way," said Haake.

When it comes to security the only things the screen shows is name and address of the voter. It's the same information on the paper poll books. The system is also password protected.

The program will also show if a person has already cast an absentee vote and tally voters automatically.

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