When the state of Virginia forced counties to print paper poll books, Henrico County sought alternatives.
According to Mark Coakley, General Registrar for Henrico County, “We were attracted to electronic poll books because poll workers would sometimes mark the wrong voters using paper ones. The print was very small.”
After researching options, Coakley said the three key areas where Decision Support’s EViD electronic poll books played a roll were pre-election, post-election, and getting voters through the lines quicker on Election Day.
For pre-election, not having to print paper poll books has saved Henrico County printing expenses. Besides the savings, the poll workers embraced Decision Support’s EViD electronic poll books. After only two hours of training, many poll workers reported they never wanted to go back to paper poll books.
On Election Day, Henrico County reported voters moved through the lines quicker since using Decision Support’s EViD electronic poll books. Coakley commented that this was a selling point to the county manager because voters would complain about the long lines.
Henrico County saw improvement with alpha splits, the lines created for A-L and M-Z names. These lines, according to Coakley, sometimes split into four for presidential elections, making the lines long. The improvement included the elimination of alpha splits by using two to three electronic poll books.
The biggest area that Henrico County reported savings came from the post-election process. Electronic poll books created a higher level of accuracy with voter history compared to using paper poll books. Henrico County also reported saving hours of poll worker labor and experienced a quicker turnaround in results for the elections, http://www.decisionsupport.com/
The process Henrico County used to verify voter credits was time consuming. The state would collect the paper poll books and have workers enter the results. This post-processing labor took three people working eight hours a day for three weeks, according to Coakley.
Once they entered the voter history, Henrico County would run a report for comparison against the state’s list of “voters who voted” to ensure accuracy, according to Anne Marie Middlesworth, Deputy General Registrar for Henrico County.
Since switching to Decision Support’s EViD electronic poll books, the process takes ten keystrokes and less than a day’s work. Henrico County uploads voter history the same day.
As a result, they reduced their budget for the next fiscal year by $50,000 less in poll worker pay, a savings of $25,000 per election.
After using Decision Support’s EViD electronic poll books, http://www.decisionsupport.com/
Middlesworth said, “The morning was hectic and crazy and stressful our first election in November. The Decision Support team stayed composed and kept us calm. I was so impressed with the way your team handled the election and helped us through it.”
For Registrars and Directors of Elections looking to use electronic poll books, Coakley offers the following advice, “Have a good timeline, work with the vendor, and stick to the timeline as the number one goal. Embrace technology and change. Make sure you are doing it for the poll worker to make their job as easy as possible. With our elected officials, it took us about three years to get funding for this, but when they see the budget savings for taxpayers, they really embrace it.”
Go to Decision Support’s website at www.decisionsupport.com to learn more on EViD electronic poll book support and operation in vote centers, http://www.decisionsupport.com/
About Decision Support
Founded in 1984, Decision Support provides data management, process management and reporting software products for our customers. Our product offerings include Electronic Poll Books and Ad-Hoc Reporting / Data Integration Engines that streamline data access and presentation to help our customers improve performance. We have experience helping banks, credit unions, insurers, manufacturers, distributors, healthcare providers and government (including federal, state and local) agencies improve different aspects of their operations.