CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections introduced new voting equipment to process voters at the polls and during the ballot tabulation process in the November 5 election.
A pilot project will test the performance of Electronic Poll Books, or E-Poll Books, at two polling locations and new high speed central scanners will count ballots.
E-poll Books are designed to replace paper Poll Books that list voter names and signatures. Paper Poll Books have been used for generations to list voters and to compare their signatures when issuing ballots. E-Poll Books allow poll workers look up voter records for greater accuracy and to quickly issue the correct ballot. The units are about the size of a lap top computer and provide election workers with instant access to the records of all voters including their correct ward, precinct, and voting location.
The E-Poll Book pilot project will be conducted at:
• Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center at 8611 Hough Avenue in Cleveland
• A.J. Rickoff Elementary School at 3500 East 147 Street in Cleveland
High Speed Ballot Scanners:
The speed of ballot scanning is expected to increase with the Board's addition of three DS850 high speed central scanners that will be utilized for the first time in a county-wide election. The DS850 scanners could replace the M650 scanners that have been the accurate and reliable high speed scanners used by the Board of Elections since 2008.
Currently, The Cuyahoga County Ballot Department uses 15 M650 scanners to scan and tabulate ballots which are centrally counted, including absentee and provisional. "We are satisfied with the performance of the M650 but this is an opportunity to improve the process," said Pat McDonald, Director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. "We are very excited to be using the DS850 in this election after having spent several months testing the machines and training our operators. An upgrade to the new machines would mean saving time and money because the DS850 scans ballots faster and requires fewer people to operate," said McDonald.
The DS-850 has additional features not found in the current central scanner:
• The machine can process an average of 4,200 ballot pages per hour compared to the 650-page capability of the M650 optical scanner.
• All of the Vote by Mail ballots we scan have been folded and creased. The M650 works best when we flatten ballots before scanning. The new machine is designed to scan ballots that have been folded for mailing.