Onondaga County getting ready to switch to electronic pollbooks

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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When voters walk into a polling place for Tuesday’s primary election, they’ll use the old polling books. However, it’s the last time voters in Onondaga County will see them because come November, we’re switching to electronics.

During the general election, voters will be signing in using an electronic pollbook, which looks just like an iPad.

“To man the poll sites better, it’s going to allow us to get better data on election day, and most importantly, it’s going to allow us to save thousands of dollars each election,” said Dustin Czarny, Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner.

The cost of the new gadgets is covered by state grants, bringing us up to date with technology Czarny said we’re behind on.

“Early voting changed everything. When we passed early voting, we had to upgrade our technology to be able to do that,” Czarny said.

Come November, New Yorkers will be able to place a vote nine days before the general election. Something that took a while to pass, since some don’t agree with it.

“It’s been one day for so many years, I never understood why the need nine more days to vote,” said Michele Sardo, Onondaga County Republican Elections Commissioner.

Still, many can agree that doing things digitally fills a few gaps.

“If somebody goes to the polling site and they’re at the wrong polling site, this can’t tell you that, but the new pollbooks can. It can say no you can’t vote here you have to go down the street, here’s directions to do that and it’ll send a text message,” Czarny said.

Technology we’ll have to wait on, but in the meantime?

“Get out and vote. This is your voice and it’s time that you need to get out and vote. Local primaries are very very important,” Sardo said.

The inspectors will be getting trained on how to use the pollbooks and the board of election is hoping to introduce them to everyone by bringing them to the State Fair.

Polls are open Tuesday until 9 p.m. If you’re registered with a party, you can vote in the primary election.

For more local news, follow Julia LeBlanc on Twitter @JuliaLeBlancNC9.

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