Fayette County election officials will begin using the latest voting technology on iPads at the polls in May’s primary election.
The cost for just the E-pollbooks for Fayette County was $39,570. E-pollbook chargers and cables added another $158.56 and E-pollbook data transfer accrued an additional cost of $4,200.
Counties across the state have begun to implement the E-pollbook technology over the course of the past several years. There was no required timeline for implementing E-pollbooks in each county, but Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted encouraged counties to transition in a timely manner because it represents the latest advancement in voting technology.
After implementing E-pollbooks in Montgomery County, election officials said it lowered the time a person had to wait to 30 seconds during the 2012 presidential election. That was an 80 percent decrease from the two to three minute wait a person experienced before the implementation of the E-pollbooks, according to Husted.
In addition to cutting wait time, E-pollbooks simplify the check-in process. Poll workers will no longer have to flip through a book to find a voter’s name. Now when a voter shows up to their voting precinct, the poll worker will enter the person’s name or scan their driver’s license.
Working together, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio Association of Election Officials and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio determined that the cost of implementing the E-pollbooks would be an expensive burden for each county. A state grant program was established for reimbursement in each county, to receive either 85 percent of the amount paid out or the maximum amount allotted for the county.
Fayette County received a $26,772.18 check from the Department of Administrative Services as a reimbursement for the purchase of the E-pollbooks.
At last week’s board meeting, the Fayette County Board of Elections said they have designed training required by the Ohio Secretary of State on the use of the E-pollbooks. Training is scheduled to begin March 27 for staff and board members. Precinct election officials will begin their E-pollbook training April 20.
Look for more stories about the Fayette County Board of Elections in future Record-Herald news articles this week.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton