Onondaga County Board of Elections Demonstrates New Electronic Poll Books

The Onondaga County Board of Elections Commissioners chose KNOWiNK in partnership with Dominion Voting Systems as their vendor for the planned full conversion to electronic poll books in the 2019 General Election. These poll books will be in use at all six of our early voting sites and 179 Election Day polling sites in Onondaga County. In addition, they will be partnering with Dominion Voting System’s Poll Print to bring on-demand ballot printing to the early voting sites so all sites will be accessible to every voter in Onondaga County. Today at noon, press and elected officials were invited to see a demonstration of the Poll Pad and Poll Print equipment.

Electronic Poll Book

To see the new Polling Books Explained and demonstrated see the following video

According to Dustin M. Czarny, Onondaga County Elections Commissioner (D,)”By using state grants we can revolutionize the voter experience for Onondaga County voters as well as save tens of thousands of dollars annually in costs and worker hours. This will be a huge leap forward for Onondaga County”

Michele Sardo, Onondaga County Elections Commissioner (R) said, “I am looking forward to working with KNOWiNK for the first time and again with Dominion Voting with moving forward to Electronic Poll Pads and On Demand ballot printing.

KNOWiNK and Dominion Voting Systems have been certified through New York State Board of Elections and will be part of the OGS contract for local boards to purchase off of later this summer. KNOWiNK’s Managing Director, Scott Leiendecker is a former Election Director for the City of St. louis and the creator of the Poll Pad electronic poll book. Poll Pad has been selected by election authorities for use in 25 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada. Dominion Voting Systems has been providing voting systems to Onondaga County since 2007.

The conversion to electronic poll books will be paid for using a combination of the 2019 Localities and Capital Grants passed in this year’s New York State Budget as well as the ShoeBox Grant that Onondaga County Board of Elections has been saving for this purpose. Onondaga County Board of Elections was one of the first counties in the state to pilot electronic poll books in 2014 and has been planning for their use when the state passed early voting and electronic poll book legislation this year. While the conversion and operation of electronic poll books will be paid for by state funds, the use of this new
technology will save Onondaga County thousands of dollars and hundreds of worker hours each election as well as greatly enhance the Election Day experience for voters.

What’s New?

A public demonstration of this new technology took place at the Onondaga County Board of Elections, 1000 Erie Blvd West, Syracuse, NY 13204 on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at noon. The demonstration to the public was impressive. It’s easy to see how this new system can eliminate some of the human errors that take place. These errors can be costly to the integrity of the election process, especially important in close elections. This system eliminates the need for multiple large election books that have been staples of Onondaga County voting for decades.

The upgrade from the manual system of checking voters at the polls to this new digital Voter Registration Book will streamline the process of checking-in to vote. The system will print a receipt and simultaneously print a Ballot for that particular person. The risk of a poll worker giving out the wrong ballot is eliminated by having the computer generate each ballot. As we switch to this digital Registered Voter Book format, errors will be known instantly. With video chat capabilities, the system will allow the Board of Elections to deal directly with the polling place and workers.

This equipment will be on display in the Bard of Elections throughout the rest of summer and into the fall for voters to get accustomed to. The Onondaga County Board of Elections is also planning on bringing this equipment to the New York State Fair to promote our early voting system and help register voters. The Onondaga County Board of Elections has also released a FAQ along with early voting sites and hours on their website at www.onvote.net