Lebanon County will test e-survey books on Tuesday, but is “very comfortable that other states are allowed to lead the way.”

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – When it comes to bringing new technologies to market quickly, well – for better or for worse and maybe a little of both, let’s just say no one ever has the Susquehanna Valley with Silicon Valley mistaken.

As usual, central Pennsylvania will take a small step forward next week when voters sign into electronic poll books instead of the familiar paper folders at a dozen polling places in Lebanon County.

The impact on voters? Minimal, said Sean Drasher, the county elections director.

“You will see one [touch]“They’ll still go up and say their name, and then they’ll just sign on the screen instead of on paper.”

In other words, kind of like when you first signed your name on a screen at a pharmacy when you picked up a prescription, rather than on a paper log.

However, Drasher said it will be faster, which may not matter much if (in all likelihood) fewer than 30% of the county’s voters go to the polls next week – but could be very helpful if closer to 90% vote in the presidential election next year.

Tuesday’s polls will use two different touchscreen polling systems from two competing companies (KNOWLEDGE and voting systems and software, or ES&S). If all goes well, the district hopes to award one of the companies a statewide contract.

In some ways, what goes on behind the scenes of e-survey books is actually less than meets the eye. Also less than in other parts of the country.

In the other 67-county swing state — Florida — election office registration machines are networked to machines at polling places, so records are updated in real time everywhere.

Election administrators generally prefer well-integrated systems because they provide an extra layer of security to prevent someone from casting two votes — for example, if a mail-in ballot arrives at the election office at the same time as the same person goes to a polling station to vote. (Election offices have procedures in place to prevent even that.)

However, some critics fear that networked systems could be vulnerable. In any case, they are not allowed in Pennsylvania – at least not yet.

“I’m perfectly comfortable with other states being able to lead the way and figure out the technology before it gets to us — and the law around the technology,” Drasher said. “So that’s fine. We’ll get there eventually.”

James Brien

James Brien is a WSTNewsPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined WSTNewsPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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