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Franklin County To Use Electronic Poll Books During May Primary

Cuayhoga County elections officials plan to begin using electronic poll books during the May primary, joining more than two-thirds of Ohio's 88 counties. And the Franklin County Board of Elections plans to begin using electronic poll books during the May 2nd primary. Jim Letizia reports.

The devices will replace the paper books voters sign when they show up at the polls. Elections officials say the move will mean voters won't spend as much time waiting to cast a ballot. Officials also hope the devices will help them count votes faster. Electronic poll books allow poll workers to swipe a voter's drivers license to obtain the information needed to ensure that person is in the correct voting location and gets the proper ballot. If a voter is in the wrong location, the machine shows where that person is supposed to cast a ballot and prints out directions to that polling place. In 2015, state lawmakers allocated 12.7 million dollars for counties to purchase the devices. Franklin County got 1 million dollars, and added in 800 thousand to purchase the devices and related software. The Ohio Secretary of State's office urged counties not to use the machines for the first time during last year's presidential election.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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