By Grace Wachlarowicz, Electronic Roster Task Force member on behalf of Minnesota School Boards Association — and Director of Elections and Voter Services, City of Minneapolis and SSD #01 Minneapolis Schools
Summary of all meetings with audio: http://www.lcc.leg.mn/ertf/
The focus of the Electronic Roster Task Force meetings to date is ascertaining electronic roster technology and capabilities currently available. Vendors are allowed 20 minutes to present their product’s functionality on electronic rosters for registered votes and Election Day registrations. The majority of products presented have the capability to operate “static” or “live.” Static functionality refers to voter records downloaded into the system, captures Election Day the activity, and updated to the state’s system after the election. This is comparable to current practice but eliminates paperwork and hand data entry. Functionality of live systems is real time updates, namely connected and updating the state’s system in real time. (Note: The purpose of operating in real time allows the ability to verify current activity such as a voter voting in more than one precinct. Voter records are updated after the election).
On October 9, the Office of the Secretary of State, Election Division, presented on overview of the current system and capabilities. EFT members have commented in many meetings the capability of using a system that allows online access. Many polling locations throughout the state do not have the connectivity needed for online access. Current federal and state election laws also require some type of voter signature certification. Furthermore, the state’s current system appears to have limited capacity to support the volume of activity from all polling locations — many operating on multiple computers.
It is premature to say what type of system the EFT will recommend. Members agree that an electronic roster will expedite voter service in the polls, produce accurate voter records, and reduce costs over time updating voter records. There is a concern however, to use a system that requires online access as well as what type of voter signature certification would be required.
The EFT will receive testimony from Minnesota Driver and Vehicles Services on the capability and reliability to verify a voter.
Click on the following link to view the Electronic Roster Task Force meeting schedule.