The Clark County Board of Elections is expected to spend more than $180,000 on electronic pollbooks, which will be available for November’s general election.
Director Matthew Tlachac said the board will order about 150 E-pollbooks from Tenex Software Solutions, based in Florida.
E-pollbooks contain county voter information and will replace the paper pollbooks voters sign when they check in on Election Day. The technology is expected to increase accuracy and increase the speed of check-in times for voters.
“It’s basically a check-in tool,” Tlachac said. “If you have multiple precincts within a location, voters will have the opportunity to go to any line and at that line they will check in.”
Normal procedures will be followed, except voters will sign the surface of a tablet instead of a paper pollbook.
The E-pollbooks cost nearly $1,000 each. Costs for software, Wi-Fi access for poll locations and other expenses will drive the cost to about $180,262 in start-up costs this year and about $18,750 annually, Tlachac said.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted this week gave county boards of elections the “green light” to begin purchasing E-pollbooks.
As part of the Ohio budget, $12.7 million has been appropriated to aid county governments in covering the cost of upgrading to E-pollbooks during the biennial budget.
“E-pollbooks help voters more efficiently find their correct voting precinct, which leads to less confusion and shorter wait times. We know that E-pollbooks create a better voting experience for voters and poll workers,” Husted said in a press release.
The state money would fund 85 percent of the costs for counties that want to use E-pollbooks. County governments will pay the remaining 15 percent of the costs.
Tlachac said Clark County will get $147,050 from the state for start-up costs and Clark County will pay about $33,000.
County BOE members voted unanimously to purchase E-pollbooks from Tenex.
Ted McClenen, an elections board member, said E-pollbooks will benefit voters and poll workers. The technology will allow poll workers to know immediately at check-in if an individual is a registered voter, their correct poll location and whether they have already voted, he added.
“I’m sure the voters out there and the poll workers will appreciate what we’ve done,” McClenen said.
Clark County Commissioner John Detrick said he supports the BOE’s decision to purchase E-pollbooks, noting the technology will make the voting process more efficient.
“It just sounds fantastic, and particularly in a presidential year when you have 70,000, 80,000 people voting,” Detrick said. “It’s going to make it more pleasant to get in and out of the polls.”
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