Voter Check-In to Speed Up in Sandwich with New Technology

SANDWICH – New technology in Sandwich will be used to assist residents at town meeting or individuals participating in early voting.

The town recently purchased more than a dozen Poll Pads, which are an innovative device to assist staff check in voters.

“It is basically an iPad that has the technology of supplementing the old paper voting list for an electronic check in system which speeds up the process for checking in voters,” said Taylor White, the Sandwich Town Clerk.

At town meeting the devices will be used to quickly look up a voter’s name, check them in and hand them a warrant.

Along with being used at town meeting, the Poll Pads can be used to check in voters for early voting and print out labels that will be attached to early voting envelops.

“It will make the whole process a lot faster,” White said.

White said the technology will allow town staff to check in town meeting or early voters within 5-10 seconds.

The technology will also speed up work conducted in the town clerk’s office after voting is conducted.

“We actually have to do this whole administrative process afterwards and the Poll Pads give us the technology to actually input that data into our system instantly instead of having to go through every ballot one by one,” White said.

“It’s going to save dozens and dozens and dozens of hours of administrative work on our end and up our accuracy tremendously.”

Secretary of State William Galvin has only approved the devices to be used to check in voters at town meeting and early voting, but is working to certify the Poll Pads for elections.

They have been approved by secretaries of state in other states for election use to supplement traditional voting lists.

“Secretary of State Galvin is currently working, and has been for upwards of a year and a half, to talk to the federal government to certify these for election use,” White said.  White hopes they will be available for town election in May 2019.

White assures residents that the pads are not tabulation devices and do not count votes.

“They are not storing any voter information other than just your name and checking you off,” he said.

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