Electronic Poll Books
Electronic Poll Books made their debut in Broome County for the 2019 General Election.
That included checking in at the three Early Voting sites October 26th-November 3rd and at each poll site countywide on Election Day, November 5th This will be the first time they are used in a county-wide election.
What are electronic poll books?
Electronic poll books are essentially a tablet computer that are used to check in voters at poll site locations for Early Voting and on Election Day to replace the paper poll books inspectors previously had voters sign.
How do electronic poll books work?
The record of every voter in the county is loaded onto each electronic poll book. When a voter arrives at the voting location, a poll inspector checks the voter in either by scanning the voter’s election card, state driver’s license/ID or by performing a manual name search on the tablet. If the voter is at the wrong voting location, the poll inspector can text/e-mail/print directions to the voter’s correct voting location.
Each poll book is encrypted for security and synced to the other units deployed at that polling location, so when a voter checks in on one unit, all the other units at that location are updated as well. These poll books also transmit important encrypted administrative data (such as supply of ballots and other items, poll inspector payroll, voter counts, etc.) in real time back to the Board of Elections, as well as allow staff to send messages to poll inspectors. Rest assured, no sensitive voter-specific data is transmitted in these encrypted transfers.
What are the benefits to voters?
Electronic poll books reduce the check-in time (and, consequently, wait times) for voters. As mentioned above, voters that have a Board of Elections issued voter information card or a state issued ID or license can have them scanned to pull up their record immediately for signing.
Further, by having the information for every registered voter in the County on each device, precinct election officials are able to quickly and confidently identify voters who are at the wrong voting location and direct them to their correct location. These features significantly reduce the number of voters who vote at the wrong location and whose affidavit ballots are subsequently rejected.
What security features are in place?
Broome County's E-Poll Books were programmed by Tenex Software Solutions and has been certified by the New York State Board of Elections and was tested by National Technical Systems (NTS). As part of our Board’s vendor selection process, the both New York State and Broome County Departments of Information Technology have conducted a review of the security features to protect your election data.
The E-Poll Books protect against intentional manipulation, fraud and malicious mischief;
The E-Poll Books provides the ability to identify fraudulent or erroneous changes to the system;
They maintain the integrity of the voting process with secure line technology and encryption.
The E-Poll Books are in no way connected, physically or electronically, to the vote recording equipment.
Broome County has used Dominion Voting System Scanners as our Voting Machines since 2009.
As we transitioned from decades of using the old lever machines, Broome County turned to Dominion to meet our needs with an easy-to-use, robust, and reliable voting machine. The ImageCast Precinct optical scanner is utilized in Broome County. As each of our poll sites have an ImageCast Precinct BMD machine, which is a ballot scanner integrated with a custom ballot-marking device that meets the needs of all voters no matter their physical abilities.
The ImageCast Precinct was one of two election systems capable of meeting New York State’s stringent needs and requirements.
It was selected by 52 out of 62 counties in the State. Broome and the other 51 counties choose ImageCast BMD not only because it was made to meet New York standards, but because it is MADE IN NEW YORK!
What security features are in place?
First, the Dominion Voting Systems used by Broome County are not connected to the internet at any time. The programming machines too are never connected to the internet, merely a secure server under lock and key. Each machine when contains anti-tamper seals that are recorded by BOE staff, technicians, and poll inspectors before and after every deployment.
Dominion Machines results are encrypted.
Memory Cards are scrubbed and reprogrammed for each election.
Machines are checked prior to the first vote with a zero report by technicians and poll inspectors.
The voting machines offer four redundancies for election integrity - poll worker memory card, admin memory card, paper results tapes, and the paper ballots are retained in a locked compartment.
Results are transported in locked security bags, often by police.