How Electronic Pollbooks Work

KELOLAND News wanted to take a closer look at what an electronic pollbook is so we can better understand the problem. Here’s what we found out. 

Deputy Secretary of State for Election Services Kea Warne says all South Dakotans vote on a paper ballot. But in eight counties, there is an electronic pollbook for election workers.
“A pollbook is actually an electronic, kind of like a laptop, that has a voter registration file on it,” Warne said. 

In seven of the eight, counties also use vote centers which makes the devices even more valuable. Voters can cast a ballot at any precinct. Election workers simply look them up on the e-pollbook to find their specific ballot. When working correctly the pollbooks are interconnected.

“So that if I’m in Brown County and I go vote at vote center one, I can’t go around and go to vote center two and vote again because my name will already be marked off the pollbook,” Warne said. 

As far as the statewide impact of the loss of connectivity, that’ll be handled at the county level.

Again, election results are not expected until 9:45 central time. Because of state law, no numbers can be released until after the final Pennington County precinct closes.

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