TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Paper is out and digital is in. Technology is changing the way Hoosiers vote and a Purdue Research Park company is leading the way in the developments.
Tippecanoe County is already ready, but now that all counties in Indiana are able to have vote centers, it means they will need to upgrade the way voting works.
When Tippecanoe County became a pilot for vote centers in 2007, the search was on to upgrade from paper to computer software.
"You would need to have all the voter information at every location and that's not really possible if you want to have that on paper," said DelMar Information Technologies software developer Barrett Myers.
County Clerk Christa Coffey said the county couldn't find an Indiana company that had developed what it needed, so it approached Purdue Research Park firm DelMar Information Technologies.
"They designed it for us, with what we said we needed," Coffey said.
DelMar developed the electronic poll book (EPB) for Tippecanoe and Cass Counties to use at their vote centers.
"The electronic poll book gives us the ability to track voters, to see the trends on when people vote and then run reports after wards," Coffey said. "We can export the data then to the state and avoid having to individually update the voter's registration, that they voted."
The electronic poll book has also helped with staffing.
"Stage your staffing depending on we know that more people vote at 2:00 than we thought, so we have a half day judge come in and that gives us extra staffing for that time period when more voters turn out," Coffey explained.
Myers helped design the software. He said the book also makes it much easier to make sure someone doesn't hit the polls twice.
"Keep track of who has voted in an election so someone can't go to multiple vote centers to vote. Once they vote in an election, it is stored in EPB's central system so the person can't vote somewhere else," said Myers.
Coffey said she isn't sure how the county would be able to have vote center's without DelMar's electronic poll book.
She said the electronic poll books are a good idea for any county, whether it has vote centers or not.
Myers said DelMar has been approached by other Indiana counties and other states to use its software.
Check back on WLFI.com this evening for results from today's primary elections. As of 4:30 p.m. 2,600 votes had been cast in Tippecanoe County.
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