State Elections Commission Approves E-Polling Option For Cities

Superior Open To Implementing The New Technology

The Wisconsin Elections Commission has decided to offer electronic poll books to local governments. Now, cities can decide whether they would like to transition from paper poll books to the e-poll technology.

The commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow commission staff to develop software for e-polling. The project is expected to cost around $125,000 in the commission’s staff time. Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan said cities would have to pay for the hardware to use e-poll books.

“The hardware, the laptops, notebooks would fall on the municipalities to purchase,” she said. “So, there is a cost factor.”

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It would cost cities roughly $500 to $1,000 to buy computers and printers to implement the technology at each polling site, according to a report provided to the State Elections Commission. Kalan said there may be a learning curve for some poll workers who aren’t as familiar with the new technology. She said many of their election workers are seniors.

Kalan said she would be willing to do a trial run with electronic poll books on smaller races. She added she would prefer to use the new technology alongside paper poll books.

E-poll books offer information on registered voters in a ward and at least 27 states are currently using the technology.