The first week of August is the target date for the Tippecanoe County Election Board to test and choose new software to check voters in during the November election.
Problems with the program that electronically verified voters at polls during the May primary election prompted the board to end the county’s contract with Robis Elections and start searching for a new provider.
County Clerk Christa Coffey says she’s in the process of scheduling a meeting where election board members can see demonstrations from the three other state-certified e-pollbook companies.
She expects the selection process to move quickly because the board knows what it wants.
“We need something that interfaces in a way with creating cards that’s not a manual process again,” she says. “And, we need something that’s very user friendly for our poll workers so the training curve going into November is not as high.”
Coffey says the county worked with one of the three vendors, Votec, in the past, and she knows other county clerks who’ve had good experiences with either of the other two systems.
She believes the county can successfully install a new system before early voting begins in October.
“We’ve changed systems in August for a November election,” Coffey says. “So we’ve, unfortunately, got experience and know we can do this.”
Also, she says, the process should go smoothly because the state is now in charge of a lot of the data she previously had to load manually.
In May, some voters had to wait in long lines while poll workers struggled to get the system to electronically connect and verify registration records.
Election officials had planned to choose a vendor in June, but Coffey says she has been busy overseeing installation of a new computer system for the courts, and the election board members, all of them attorneys, have had full caseloads.