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Electronic poll books and QR code system  available to voters

Updated: October 22, 2013 1:15PM



CROWN POINT — The Lake County Board of Elections and Voter Registration has decided to upgrade technology by Quick Response code system and electronic poll books.

Board Chairman Mike Brown, the county clerk, said, “We will be the largest county in the state to use this.”

A Quick Response, or QR, code system can be used through a smart phone to gain access to the county’s voter website and to the state of Indiana voter registration website.

The other change will be the use of electronic poll books at voter sites throughout Lake County. Eliminating printing will be a great money saver for the county. The electronic poll book is still in the design phase.

Hammond mayor Tom McDermott Jr., the county Democratic Party chairman, was in attendance at the Oct. 15 meeting.

After the meeting, McDermott said, “It is a leap forward. It is a common problem, when going door to door, people don’t know if they are registered. This will be a great opportunity to get that answer right away.”

When the question comes up, with the QR code anyone can find out if they are registered to vote through the state site. If that voter is not registered but wants to be, then he or she can register and at the same time learn where their polling place is located.

When the QR code is scanned, the voter will be redirected to the Lake County Board of Elections Voter Registration Mobile page.

A person wishing to register to vote online must have an Indiana driver’s license, and that license number will be required to register or make changes on their registration. In addition to registering the applicant can also make a change of name or address. When completed it the site will also tell you where to vote.

Board member William Fine envisions candidates having the QR code on their literature as well as campaign workers telling the people that they talk to about this service. The QR code can also be displayed at each polling place, allowing voters to check to make sure that they are in the correct polling place.

Pat Gabrione, deputy director of the board said, “The electronic poll book replacing paper will move voters through in seconds.” According to Gabrione the board has spoken with seven vendors, and each one had a different opinion. Five seem viable, he said.

The board will hiring Purdue University professor Chuck Winer as a consultant.



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