(La Porte, IN) - Primary elections are just days away. At the polls on Tuesday, voters will see some new advanced technology.
During a recent visit to La Porte, Secretary of State Holli Sullivan told HTNN about the election tech upgrades. “Your county here is getting new voting equipment and verified paper trails, as well as new voting booths,” she said. “Your clerk is extremely excited to get those implemented and let everybody be able to use them here.”
La Porte County Clerk Heather Stevens said she has spent most of the last week training poll workers on the new equipment. One of the gadgets is an electronic device which will replace the clunky stack of papers that voters currently sign in with. “It’s very simple; instead of that big piece of paper, it’s an iPad,” she said. “It’s going to scan your driver’s license for you. It really is a big help to the poll workers. So far, they seem to love it.”
Stevens said another new device will be used that verifies an electronic vote with a secured paper printout. That way, votes can be double-checked later, if necessary. Stevens said the paper trail helps guarantee that votes aren’t somehow changed within the workings of an electronic voting device. Only one of those machines will be at every polling station this election so poll workers can get used to them. They’ll be required on every voting device in the 2024 general election.
Secretary of State Sullivan is expecting a brisk turnout at polling stations this year. 2020 saw an unprecedented number of absentee and early paper ballots due to the pandemic. Primary elections are not usually as busy; however, Sullivan said some highly-contested races such as County Sheriff and the 1st Congressional District could drive more La Porte County voters to the polls.