Technology moves elections forward

 "This is not an easy thing to roll out," said Marie Wicks, East Lansing City Clerk. "So practice probably won't make perfect but it'll make us a lot better."

"We want to bring the Michigan election process into the 21st century."

These days, voting places are all about technology.

The newest is East Lansing's electronic poll book. For the first time, election officials are using it in all seventeen precincts.

Marie wicks, east lansing clerk
"We've had electronic poll books in four precincts in the last two elections," said Marie Wicks, East Lansing City Clerk. "To kind of work out the bugs."

It's not a voting system, it's more like a security system, checking in voters to make sure they're registered.

"It's simply to pull up the voter, issue the ballot and then it provides ease of reporting at the end of the night," Wicks said.

The system saves time in voting lines, and after the polls close in the counting process.

But Wicks says there's still a lot to learn.

"This is not an easy thing to roll out," Wicks said. "So practice probably won't make perfect but it'll make us a lot better."

Kinks and glitches aren't the only concerns.

Moving away from pen and paper comes with a level of uncertainty.

Doug couto, precinct 3 co-chair
"This actual computer is not connected to the Internet," said Doug Couto, chair of Precinct 3 in East Lansing. "So nobody can hack in and steal the data, modify it or do anything. And that adds a security to the process."

The low turnout made the primaries run more smoothly, but everyone is still learning how to use the technology.


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