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Bunn: Electronic poll books would speed process

Pike County could soon have electronic poll books to help with voter registration and ID checks at the polls.

Probate Judge Michael Bunn told Pike County Commissioners on Monday that the Secretary of State’s Office has approved funding for the capital investment needed to purchase the equipment and convert the rolls to the digital platform.

“The Secretary of State’s office has been asking us to transition to electronic poll books for some time,” Bunn said. “But now that they’re willing to pay the majority of the cost, I think it’s time we move ahead.”

Bunn said the county would purchase 48 poll books and the equipment to support them. The $56,290 cost will be reimbursed by the state. “We will have to pay an annual contract maintenance fee of about $6,000 per year,” he said.

The electronic system will allow poll workers to scan barcoded IDs such as driver’s licenses at the polling place, instead of manually checking and marking in paper poll books. “This will give poll workers a little bit of help in taking in the information and will provide a quicker transfer to the Secretary of State’s office,” Bunn said.

Extensive training would be provided, he said, with the goal having the system in place for the November general election. “Our intent is to us the electronic poll books plus paper for the first go around, since there will be a learning curve,” Bunn said.

The commission agreed to review the proposal and vote on it during the next meeting.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved a commitment letter from Troy Bank and Trust that provides parameters for loans for the jail construction project as well as cash flow loans for both the CDBG/EDA grant and the Industrial Access Project for Universal Permacast.

• Approved contracts for the resurfacing of CR 7707 (the EDA project) and two HRRR projects that would provide guardrails on bridges on CR 2209, CR 2253 and CR 3319 and striping and marking on CR 6600 and CR2238.

• Recognized Charlie Harris for his 28 years of service as a commissioner.

• Approved a lounge retail liquor license for Gold Mine Entertainment LLC.

• Began hearings for the FY 2021 budget.