The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

October 13, 2009

County to streamline election process

With a grant from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) scheduled to expire at the end of the year, the Walker County Commissioners Court discussed ways in which to spend the remaining funds to help streamline the election process and modernize voting options in the county.

According to Walker County Tax Assessor Diana McRae, all money not spent by Dec. 31 will be sent back to the state.

McRae presented an update to the court during a regular session on Tuesday morning with a list of items the county plans to purchase with the funds that remain from the original grant.

Included on the list are electronic poll books that will allow poll workers to more efficiently handle voter check-in and verification while also improving the ability to help voters find their correct polling location.

“That’s going to speed up the voter check-in process it also improves the accuracy for the voter look-up,” McRae said. “It will also reduce some of the paperwork and printing of the poll books.

“The beauty of it also is that on election day, it will tell you specifically if you are not in (Precinct 1 or 2), it will tell you – it gives you directions to that polling location, it gives you an address and even a phone number that we can give possibly directly to another polling judge in another location.”

McRae said the electronic books will also assist workers with sending voter history to Austin and prevent them from having to manually document and send the information.

“It collects voter history data throughout the entire election – who voted and when they voted and how they voted – if they voted provisionally, if they voted early or if they voted on election day,” McRae said. “The best part about that is that it’s actually compatible with the TEAM system, which is what we use to work with the Secretary of State’s office for all of our voter information.”

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