Legislation that will allow electronic poll books to replace cumbersome paper-based books in New Jersey elections was approved by Senate and Assembly committees on Monday with bi-partisan support.
Known as e-poll books, electronic poll books would allow election poll workers to check in eligible voters using a laptop or tablet. The technology is used in 33 states already.
“With the overwhelming amount of cutting edge technology available nowadays, it’s mind-boggling to think that our voting process has remained antiquated,” said Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton). “Electronic poll books will bring our system into the modern age, allowing poll workers to easily look up a voter’s information and expedite wait times at the polls. Not only will the process be more efficient, but it may encourage more people to turn out to vote.”
Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-Hopewell) said that the technology can use photos to verify a voter’s identity and “produce turnout numbers and a list of who voted.”
The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved the bill by a 9-0 votes, with Republicans Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) and Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) joining with seven Democrats. Two other Republicans, Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) and Hal Wirths (R-Wantage), abstained.
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted 12-0 to back the bill.A-5159