New electronic check-in system could mean shorter lines at KC polling places

Voters will find a new electronic check-in system at their polling place Tuesday.

The Kansas City Election Board unveiled new electronic poll rosters to voters April 2, 2013. The electronic poll roster is a on a tablet. The device can scan a driver's license or a voter ID card.

Shawn Kieffer, Director of Elections for the Kansas City Election Board, said the system is expected to be a more efficient voting process.

"These are quicker," he said. "You don't have to have lines A through M and L through Z. You can actually just have any line that's the shortest and a voter can come in and they can present any ID and then we'll look them up and get them processed in about a half to a third of the time."

The Kansas City Board of Elections ordered 150 tablets from St. Louis. Kieffer said every polling place in Kansas City will have at least one tablet. The larger polling places will have two.

Over the last month, the KCEB trained election judges to use the new tablet. Tuesday morning, however, some election judges still felt uneasy about using the new technology. Kieffer expects there will be low voter turnout during this election, which gives judges a chance to practice on the new tablet. .

Kansas City is one of the last cities in the area to introduce electronic poll rosters. More than 30 Missouri election authorities are already using them.  

Kieffer said the tablets cost about $600 a piece .The KCEB paid for them using grant money from the federal government.  Kieffer said in the future, they will have to look for more funding to purchase additional tablets.

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