Tablets make election debut - Tucson News Now

Tablets make election debut

 For the first time, tablets will make their debut in a county wide election.

It's hoped they will save the county money and end the dreadful problem provisional ballots have created.

In the last  election, "there were 50,000 provisional ballots cast on Election Day, of them 27,000 people who got mail in ballots and decided not to use them," says Brad Nelson, Pima County Elections Director.

It can take days or even weeks to count all the provisional's.

A provisional ballot is cast on Election Day when the poll workers are not sure of th status of the voter.

Whether they are actually registered, are voting in the correct precinct or have already voted by mail but are not aware of it.

Now, secured tablets will be used to update and get that information immediately.

In the past, poll workers used what appeared to be a large phone book which were printed ten days before the election

But with early voting and mail in ballots, keeping that information current has become almost impossible.

In 25 of the 248 precincts, the county will station secured tablets which will contain the latest information.

When a voter shows a drivers license or state issued ID, the tablet will scan the bar code on the identified action giving the poll worker immediate access to the needed information.

"It will tell you with a certain degree of certainty that you are registered to let and whether you're voting in the correct polling place," says Nelson.

Those are two of the biggest reasons for provisionals.

As far as security, "this is the same security the defense department and the department of defense use for their communications," he says. "So it's pretty darned secure."

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