Carson City’s consolidated city-county government is moving to electronic poll books for elections.
The devices should cut down on voting time and eventually also should save money, though the initial cost will be somewhat higher as voters get identified by the new process in the June primary and November general election here, according to officials at the clerk-recorder’s office.
“This is really a major leap forward for elections,” said Clerk-Recorder Alan Glover, citing at least 50 percent faster processing that will precede voting when each voter must be identified.
“We’re the first county in the state of Nevada to use them,” added his chief deputy, Sue Merriwether. “They replace the paper rosters on election day.”
Simplification of voter verification by the ExpressPoll-5000 electronic poll books from Election Systems & Software, according to Glover, could even speed processing of voters by as much as 75 percent. He provided information from the Nebraska-based company supplying the devices that cited these benefits:
Empowerment of poll workers by simplifying the process; automating voter history data upload; reducing human error; linking the voter registration system with the voting system; reducing voter lines and waiting; increasing accuracy, and enhancing the voting experience by, among other things, by coping better with early voting and establishment of voting centers.
In fact, according to Merriwether, Carson City will be consolidating to one voting center in the Community Center at Roop and William streets for the June 10 primary and Nov. 4 general elections. She also said the 15 devices purchased by Carson City would be used for early voting at the Courthouse, 885 E. Musser St.
She said early voting for the primary this year is May 24 through June 6, excluding Memorial Day, which is Monday, May 26. Early voting for the general election this year runs from Oct. 18-31.
Eventually, she said, and likely by 2016 there will be additional early voting locations but elections days will be handled only by the vote center, or super-polling place as some refer to it, at the Community Center here.
Merriwether said the devices cost $36,000, which is just $1,000 more than the cost of new computers, which would have been needed otherwise, more poll workers than with the devices in hand. She also said due to less paper, fewer polling places and fewer temporary workers going forward, there will be an eventual bottom line boon.
“In the long run, we will be saving money,” she said.