Pulaski County Council to Consider Voting System Upgrades in Budget Talks

Pulaski County CourthouseThe Pulaski County Council is heading into budget talks, but the county’s Election Board wanted to provide some additional information before such talks take place.

Steve Shamo with KnowInk demonstrated how Electronic Poll Books can increase efficiency and, combined with other measures, create longevity with the County’s voting system. E-Poll books have been researched for some time in the County with an anticipated use for the 2016 primary elections.

Shamo says it’s not mandatory, but the state is now requiring an audit of ballots.

“After the election, the Election Board now, prior to the closure of the final record of the vote totals, has to do an audit that determines how many people voted at each site against how many people voted on the machine at each site,” says Shamo.

Not only would Pulaski County consider implementing E-Poll books, but an upgrade of its voting system may also be in order, taking about three weeks to accomplish.

About 12 years ago, the federal government enacted the Help America Vote Act – which provided funds for voting system upgrades based on the number of precincts. Pulaski County has $50-thousand remaining from that disbursement.

Shamo says this will also assist Pulaski County if the decision is made to move to a vote center model.

“It does put you on the forefront of equipment,” says Shamo. “It is the most advanced in that it gives you the tools to go in any direction regarding precinct level voting or vote center voting.”

Indiana may have as many as 26 counties utilizing E-Poll books by next year.

Shamo says KnowInk will purchase some unused voting systems from the county, and while using funds leftover from the Help America Vote Act, will help alleviate the cost of making the upgrades.

The Pulaski County Council will consider the proposals during budget talks in the near future.