Secretary of State Jason Gant Training Hyde, Sully And Potter County Poll Workers on e-Pollbooks and Vote Centers
Today, Secretary of State Jason Gant and his staff were in Onida, South Dakota training County poll workers for Hyde, Sully, and Potter Counties on the use of e-pollbooks in preparation for their use in the June 5th Primary Election.
This election marks the first statewide election contest in which e-pollbooks will be used to streamline the check in of voters, which has traditionally been done manually by lining out names in a book. The counties will also be using the e-pollbooks to take advantage of the Vote Center concept, where several central locations can be used to replace dozens of precincts spread across the county.
“This will be the first test of e-pollbooks and the vote center concept outside of the Sioux Falls area. It makes even more sense for a largely rural county, such as the three using it in this election, where many of the residents work in or come to town once a day. Vote Centers allow residents to vote at any of the vote centers in their county,” Gant said.
Hyde County Auditor Colleen Harris noted, “We noticed in the training that, contrary to what you might think, many of the poll workers who have been with us a number of years were not afraid of the technology. They picked it up quickly.”
E-Pollbooks allow instant updating of the voter rolls of who has and who has not voted, and identifies which particular ballot the voter will need to complete. “The technology allows us to streamline the voting process,” Gant said. “These advances allow counties to save taxpayer dollars on each election, all without compromising our ability to deliver the service. Every person’s vote will count, and all electronic pollbooks ensure that no one can vote twice.”
Sully County Auditor Patty McGee, whose office hosted today’s training agreed, “The e-pollbooks provide enhanced security for voter rolls, instantly recording our entries at the point the voter checks in. An e-pollbook unit could be damaged or broken, and we would be back up in the amount of time it takes to turn on a computer. If a paper pollbook is lost or stolen – that kind of capability isn’t there.
“While I like convenience for voters, I’m sure the county commissioners will appreciate that after the initial investment, vote centers and e-pollbooks provide a very prompt investment return, and allow us an area where we can further reduce expenses for taxpayers,” Potter County Auditor Karen Doerr said.