November 06, 2013
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today the Voting Systems Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) at Ball State University’s Bowen Center will begin testing electronic poll book systems commonly referred to as ePollBooks. Secretary Lawson approved the Bowen Center’s ePollBook testing standards, clearing the way for testing to begin.
“The Secretary of State’s office has always been a leader in using technology to modernize the way we do business as a state,” said Secretary Lawson. “Today, we continue that tradition by modernizing the electoral process. Indiana is now the first state in the nation to have ePollBook certification standards.
“We took the first leadership step by giving every county in the state the option to deploy ePollBooks. Now we take the next step in protecting Hoosier voters as they sign-in to vote by ensuring only the best quality ePollBooks are used in Indiana.”
The 58 pages of certification testing protocols document the certification process for ePollBook vendors and authorized software testing centers. As of November 1, five ePollBook vendors have submitted applications for certification and two more have expressed interest in bringing their products for certification to Indiana. Testing will begin immediately on a first come, first serve basis. Certification will vary based on when the ePollBook vendor chooses to apply, what problems, if any, are identified as part of the certification process and how diligent the vendor is in fixing any problems, if necessary.
The Indiana standards, developed by Ball State political and computer scientists, are being considered as a model for other states. Pennsylvania and Virginia have already asked for more information about Indiana’s new standards.
The new ePollBook system is an electronic, modernized version of the traditional paper poll book, which has been used for decades. The poll workers use the poll book to compare a voter’s ID with the list of names in the book before issuing a ballot. The voter then signs the book next to their name and indicates whether or not the voter’s address has changed.
The new ePollBooks will scan the bar code on the back of a voter’s driver’s license to permit poll workers to efficiently locate the voter’s record and to ensure the voter gets the correct ballot. The voter will then sign an electronic signature pad. The ePollBooks have been used in Indiana in vote center counties since 2007.
Information concerning certified ePollBook systems will be published at www.in.gov/elections as additional information becomes available.