YORK COUNTY, Pa. — For some voters in southcentral Pennsylvania, this Election Day comes with something new.
“The elections office is always looking for ways to make elections more efficient and run a little bit more smoothly," said Gregory Monskie, chief operations officer and chief clerk of York County.
That’s the goal of the new electronic poll pads being tested Tuesday in several precincts across York and Lancaster Counties.
The devices are made by the company KNOWiNK.
Instead of flipping through a paper book to check in registered voters, poll workers look up an individual on the device and then ask them to sign right on the screen.
“It just becomes a much quicker process and you can get people through the polls and voting much quicker," said Monskie.
He explains the devices store the same information any paper book would.
"The poll pads are air-gapped, they’re not connected to the internet in any way," explained Monskie.
They’re already used in ten counties across Pennsylvania.
Voters who headed to the polls around lunchtime in York Township had no issues.
“It worked well, the people were friendly, they knew what they were doing," said Rob Green. "As far as I’m concerned it’ll eliminate doubt in anyone’s mind.”
“It worked smoothly," added Linda Lewis. "I wonder if it were more crowded if it would have backed things up.”
Monskie says a municipal primary, which typically has lower voter turnout, is the best time to test these things out.
“In every polling location these are being piloted, we also have our paper poll books as well so they’re doing both to see how the electronic books work in comparison," said Monskie.
“It gives them a chance to get used to it and make it more efficient," agreed Lewis.
Dauphin County has also implemented electronic polling pads, starting in 2021. Right now, they are being used in more than 30 precincts.
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