A task force chaired by Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is asking the Legislature to authorize further study of electronic voter registers, which, the group says, would be an improvement over the paper books containing voter information now used on election day.
“Electronic rosters have the potential to improve the voter experience, while saving taxpayer dollars. It’s important to evaluate this tool to accurately judge the costs and benefits.”
A summary of the task force recommendations says:
- The Legislature should authorize a study to be conducted during the 2014 General Election to evaluate electronic rosters in a more high-volume election.
- The Legislature should appropriate funds to offset the costs of the 2014 electronic roster study for local election officials.
- Minimum functionality requirements should be set for electronic rosters.
- Minimum data security requirements should be set for electronic rosters.
- No photos should be used in electronic rosters at this time.
- The Legislature should appropriate funds to provide for a formal evaluation of the 2014 electronic roster study.
There are many types of technology that can be used for the electronic rosters, including some that include voters’ pictures from the state licensing database, the group said.
The task force said some of the new technology’s benefits include:
- Improved voter line and traffic management
- Preventing voters from seeing other voters’ information
- Providing information for election judge staffing by tracking the number of voters throughout day
- Ensuring more accurate voter records.