Clinton County election officials roll out new technology ahead of early voting

Local News

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.- As polling places in New York prepares to offer early voting for the first time, Clinton County election officials are rolling out new equipment aimed at expediting the voting process.

It’s called the Poll Pad. The county used grant money from the state to buy six which cost about $1,500 apiece.

Election officials say the equipment will eliminate the tedious process of signing voters into a poll book by hand.

“The greeter told you what table to go to, you went to that table, they ask your name, they would flip through, miss your name, come back and ask you how to spell,” said Jerry Klaus, Clinton County Election Board.

Klaus says the Poll Pad should take about 15 seconds. Once you’re signed in, you’ll receive a short receipt that will be matched to your ballot, you’ll mark it and turn it in.

Election security continues to dominate headlines leading up to the 2020 election. But Klaus says there shouldn’t be any issues with the new equipment.

“No election results what so ever is associated with this system at all,” he said. “All I can call out of here is who voted and how many voted from each town.”

The county will be using the Poll Pads this weekend for the state’s first go-around of early voting.

“When Florida went to early voting, they had three hour long lines,” said Klaus. “We have no idea what to expect.”

With the average age of election workers in New York State being 72, the county will do more training after November 5th, in hopes of having the system ready for the presidential primaries next spring.

“I don’t want to overwhelm people with technology that they’re not used to,” said Klaus. “This is a very simple process to use.”

Early voting will begin on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can find a complete schedule on the Clinton County Board of Elections website.

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