Mobile County purchases ‘electronic poll books’ for November election

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — On Aug. 20, the Mobile County Commission approved the purchase of 449
“electronic poll books” for usage in all Mobile County election polls on Nov. 3, 2020, General Election Day. These devices are manufactured by Tenex Software Solutions, a Tampa, Florida, based company.

Electronic poll books contain the county’s entire voter registration database and will replace the large, paper rosters of registered voters at each election poll. Voters will still be required to present an acceptable form of identification before they will be permitted to vote. However, the use of the electronic poll books is expected to significantly reduce the amount of time expended at election polls in terms of the check-in process and the accuracy of the check-in process is also expected to significantly improve. Voters will also sign in electronically on an iPad, thus eliminating the need for voters to sign the poll list as they have done in the past and then had a separate clerk print their name on a separate roster.

Mobile County Judge of Probate Don Davis stated: “The acquisition will:

  1. Make the voting process easier for Mobile County citizens.
  2. Significantly reduce the opportunity of poll worker error in the processing of voters at election polls.
  3. Enable Mobile County to significantly reduce its election administrative expenses because fewer poll workers will be required [estimated to be approximately $120,000.00 for each county-wide election].
  4. Lessen the workload of the Board of Registrars and their staff and lessen the opportunity for error in the processing of voter information in the office of the Board of Registrars.
  5. Promote the objectives ofthe CDC’s COVID-19 pandemic guidelines by limiting interaction with others – shortening the length of time persons are in a room with others.”

The total purchase amount is $597,601.00. Judge Davis also noted that Mobile County would be reimbursed $469,891.00 of the total expenditure through the use of Help America Vote Act funds
provided by the federal government and administered by the Secretary of State’s office. The Mobile County Probate Court and Mobile County Commission/ Administration reviewed presentations by all three (3) of the State-approved vendors for electronic poll books. Judge Davis noted that “all three (3) products were rated by members of the staff of the Probate Court and Mobile County Administration for: (1) voter friendliness, (2) poll worker friendliness, (3) system security, ( 4) service and support, (5) election administration features, and (6) ease of storage and transport. Utilizing these factors, Tenex’s product was viewed as the best one for Mobile County.”

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