25 Alabama counties will test iPad-based voter check-in system in November

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Managing may be much easier in parts of Alabama come Election Day thanks to new election technology awaiting poll-goers at the check-in table.

Voters at selected polling places in 25 Alabama counties are ditching paper rosters and will check in using an iPad-based system on Nov 8.

The system is KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad, has digitized Alabama’s voter rolls and is expected to streamline and speed up the check-in process, making it easier than ever before.

KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad will allow 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 hope 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 program is being tested in 25 counties where both the county commission and the probate judge have approved its use, using roughly 250 of devices. According to Secretary of State John Merrill‘s office, the counties are: Mobile, Baldwin, Henry, Barbour, Bullock, Autauga, Limestone, Madison, Jackson, Dekalb, Cherokee, Morgan, Blount, Jefferson, Chambers, Marengo, Hale, Lowndes, Shelby, Cleburne, Randolph, Houston, Cullman, Marion and Winston.

Merrill said similar systems have been used in 38 states.

Federal money is being used to fund the trial.

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