Pine Lake, Wis. (WJFW) – As Election Day nears its end, voters are still making their way to the polls. This year, polling places in our area are operating with the brand new Badger Books, an electronic voting system developed by the Wisconsin Elections Commission about five years ago. But this year, Badger Books opened in Pine Lake. Town Clerk Cindy Skinner says the whole process is not only much easier and faster, but also much safer.

“E-books are not connected to the Internet at all,” Skinner said. “They just talk to each other. Voters sign on screen; They will always have to show their photo ID and provide their name and address, just like everything else. Nothing has changed except that you’re signing on a screen instead of a paper book. We haven’t divided voters into wards one and four or two and three and into separate tables, Skinner said. “So, everyone is able to check in and get the numbers and get their ballots and cast their vote. Again, I’m surprised at how smoothly it goes.”

While the new registration and check-in system was working seamlessly, there was a problem with the ballot machine in Pine Lake this morning. A small paper jam meant that a handful of ballots could not be counted immediately and had to be placed in a locked box at the back of the machine. But Skinner showed me a very simple solution to this problem.

“There’s a secure slot that the ballots can go in until we’re ready to start putting them back through the machine. I think we may have had half a dozen ballots that we then needed to run through the machine. And all this is done in the open, in public. It’s no different than if you were doing paper ballots and everyone was counting them by hand. They don’t go into a machine; They go in a box and then you open the box at the end of the night. Well, we didn’t wait until the night was over. As soon as we were able to start scanning the ballots again, they came out and were scanned.


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