Friday, November 09, 2018
Hey Lehigh, Should NorCo Use E-Pollbooks?
One thing that bothers me on election day is to see voters standing in line, waiting to be checked in. Most of them work, and their time is limited. With paper pollbooks, it often takes time to go through the pages and find the person. They also waste even more time filling out a slip that is given to the clerk so their names can be entered.
An e-pollbook makes it much easier to sign in a voter. It means less time standing in line, wondering why things take so long. One Lehigh County voter has told me she does not like the way her signature looks on an e-pollbook, but that seems to be a minor complaint.
For election workers, an e-pollbook would be far more efficient. If a voter who belongs somewhere else comes to vote, it takes time to determine where that person should be voting. An e-pollbook will provide an answer. It will also alert election officials if that person has already voted somewhere else. When a person signs in, he or she is automatically logged onto the list of voters. This eliminates the need for a clerk.
E-pollbooks, which look like iPads, were considered in NorCo a few years ago. The idea was rejected as too costly. Now Northampton and every other county has been state-mandated to purchase new voting machines that provide a paper trail. This means the county is going to be spending a lot of money. It might be able to negotiate a better deal if e-pollbooks are included.
But are they worth the expense? What is your experience in Lehigh? On a day like Tuesday, I imagine the lines were still long. But was it faster? If you went to the wrong polling place, did a voting official tell you where you belonged? Is this a good use of taxpayer dollars?