Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County voters will join in other counties across the nation in using technology to improve the efficiency and accuracy of elections.

For the first time, Olmsted County voters will check-in at their polling places on an electronic poll pad, instead of on a big printed book of names.

According to Mark Krupski, the Director of Property Record & Licensing for Olmsted County, the poll pads will be new to the voters in Olmsted County. The devices are already being used in more than 50 counties across the state, and they are designed to enhance the overall voting experience for voters and county election personnel.

The voter database will be populated to poll pads base on ward and precinct, and moving forward Olmsted County voters will be able to hop into any line at their polling place to check-in, stead of waiting in a line based on their last name.

The voter will tell the election judge who they are, the election judge will pull up the voter’s name on the poll pad and conduct the verification of the voter, and finally, the voter will provide a signature.

According to Krupski, the poll pads will reduce the workload of Olmsted County election personnel and that of workers at all 84 Olmsted County precincts. The pads will also eliminate the printing of poll finders and rosters, and substantially reduce the data-entry process of Election Day registrations. With poll pads, a post-election process that normally takes six weeks to scan each voter’s signature will be reduced to one week.

Another security measure, Olmsted County will not be connecting poll pads to the Internet, to help prevent vulnerability to any type of cyberattack.

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