Yankton County Uses E-Polling To Help Voters
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
November 06, 2012 3:26 PM
For voters in Yankton County lines may have been moving a little quicker on Election Day. That is all thanks to a new electronic polling system they were trying out called E-Polling.
The voting process was very different in Yankton County on Tuesday. Secretary of State Jason Gant said the new system is all about making it easier for voters to cast their ballots.
Voters may be using paper ballots, but how they check in, is digital.
"When you go to the polling place and say your name and then they would flip through a big book- well now we've replaced that book with a laptop computer,” said Jason Gant, South Dakota Secretary of State.
The laptops are connected to the county’s network that has all voters’ information.
Voter identifications are then scanned to make sure they are registered, and once OK’D, a voter gets his or her ballot.
Even though there are seven polling centers, down from the usual 13 designated precincts, officials said this makes voting less stressful.
"It opens up the opportunity for people to vote anywhere within the county,” said Gant.
"They don’t have to make a mad dash to their precinct,” said Paula Jones, Yankton County’s Auditor.
Some voters agree that the new system is much easier and efficient.
“You don’t have to be concerned about getting someplace late and then being turned back. So I think it's great,” said Mary Allen-Brosonski.
While other voters saw no difference.
"It really made no difference at all, other than trying to find a place to park,” said John Harper.
But digital or not, all agree that people just need to get out and vote.
Yankton County is the fourth county to implement this type of voting system in South Dakota. And Gant said there will be many more counties doing the same in the future.
The cost of the system is $2,000, and is paid for by the county. Officials said in the long run the county will save money because since there will be less places to vote, there will be less workers and places in need of being rented.