Greener BeeGreen GadgetsIn Hennepin County, voter check-in goes digital

Keeping track of voters and stray absentee ballots may have just become easier in parts of Minnesota, thanks to new neon-colored election technology awaiting poll-goers at the check-in table.

Starting with next week’s primary election, polling places in much of Hennepin County are ditching paper rosters for bright green tablets to check in and register voters, as well as log absentee ballots.

Hennepin County voters on Tuesday will find electronic poll book stations just about everywhere in the county save Minneapolis, which will introduce e-poll books next year.

Election officials hope the check-in gadgets cut line times and leave less room for error in voter data.

“It’s an important step for us to modernize the election process,” said Ginny Gelms, Hennepin County elections manager. “It’ll bring that process into the 21st century.”

Each e-poll book unit comes with an iPad, lime green stand, battery pack and mini printer. The technology is distinct from the state’s paper-ballot system, which uses a separate electronic counting machine.

Election officials say the e-poll book will make voting easier and they hope it will cut down on line times at the polls.


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