On Nov. 6, Alabama voters in 29 of the state’s 67 counties will be able to sign-in electronically at their respective precincts.
These counties will be ditching paper rosters and will check in using an iPad-esque system called KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad. The system, which was first tested in select precincts in 2016, has fully digitized Alabama’s voter rolls. While, the actual act of filling out a ballot and casting a vote will not change, the sign-in process will be speed up significantly making it easier than ever before.
John Bennett, Deputy Chief of Staff/Press in the Secretary of State’s office, said Merrill hopes to have the system in all Alabama Counties no later than the 2020 election cycle.
“The electronic poll books have been a major success for all of the counties that used them,” Bennett explained. “During the 2016 pilot Mobile County was able to process more than 600 voters an hour using these systems.”
He continued, “Using these systems makes that data available instantly where as previously registrars would be required to manually scan each voter’s name to provide credit to the voter for participating in a particular election.”
KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad allows voters to swipe their driver’s licenses through a card reader, and it will call up the voting information. Voters also have the option of punching in a few characters of their last names, and their information would be displayed on the iPad.
Election officials expect the check-in iPads will cut line times as voters will now have the option of going to the shortest line available, rather than waiting in a specific line based on the first letter of his or her last name. The devices are also expected to leave less room for error in voter data.
The following counties will use electronic check-in on Nov. 6:
- St. Clair