Last week, the primary election was marked by a technological milestone in St. Louis: it was the first time iPads were used at every precinct to check in voters. “(Voters) can bring any kind of ID that has barcode on it, like a photo ID, which is not required, or they can present the notice card we mailed to all our voters right before the election, which has a barcode on there, so they can scan the barcode and their name will show up and they will check them off as voters and initial their names at the bottom of the iPad,” explained Mary Wheeler-Jones, the city’s Democratic director of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners.
In case of a technological error, election officials can also manually find voters whose ID did not have a barcode. While the new technology took some getting used to on the part of the poll workers, overall the iPad technology went very well.
The initial investment will quickly be returned and the ecological benefits will be seen immediately as rosters and precinct registers will not have to be printed. Labor costs will be lessened. The system also improves the amount of time it takes to update voter records for the cities; shortening the turnaround time to just a few days.