Marshall County tests new election equipment

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – New equipment could make lines at Marshall County polling locations move faster.

Poll workers will be testing “Poll Pads” during the March 3 primary election.

The workers will scan voters’ driver’s license into an Ipad, which is not connected to the Internet.

The voter will then pick a ballot they would like to vote on and verify everything is correct.

Once voters are verified, a receipt will be printed.

Voters will give the receipt to a poll worker to get their paper ballot.

If voters do not have a driver’s license, they can enter information from another valid ID manually.

“We know voters’ times are valuable and they are wanting to come in and get processed and vote,” said Probate Judge Andrea Lecroy.

“When you scan the license, when you lay the license up there, it has it scanned before you pull your hand away so it’s very fast,” said elections assistant Shirley Pankey.

More than two dozen other counties across the state use them for voter check-in.

“I’ve heard a lot of great feedback from other counties. They say they’re very user friendly, very efficient. It cuts down wait times, cut down line times,” said Lecroy.

It’s a quicker approach than what has been done in the past.

“Using the poll books takes a little bit of time for a poll worker to find the correct name. If there are several Smiths, you would have to thumb through pages and pages to find the correct voter,” said Pankey.

There also won’t be any more alphabetical lines.

“This will eliminate that because anybody can register on any electronic poll books,” said Lecroy.

“Poll Pads” also make for a more discreet ballot selection.

“Some voters just don’t want that out loud or it’s more private for them, so this allows them to pick it on the Ipad,” added Lecroy.

If the voter is at the wrong polling location, the “Poll Pad” will let them know and give them step-by-step directions to the correct one.

The testing of the “Poll Pads” is free.

There will be 14 in total tested during the March 3 primary: Six at Albertville First Baptist Church, three at Midway Community Center in Arab and two at the Ruth Volunteer Fire Department.

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