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Chicago Polling Places Could Get Laptops To Replace Voting Record Binders

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Voters cast their ballots in suburban Chicago. (credit: Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago elections officials have told aldermen they’re preparing to bring some new technology – electronic pollbooks – to polling places in the near future.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports election judges would no longer have to find a voter’s name in a massive binder on Election Day.

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spokesman Jim Allen said the board is planning to replace those binders with laptop computers, to allow election judges to more quickly find voter registration information.

“They’ll have access to all 1.6 million inactive and active records,” Allen said.

That way, if a voter visits the wrong polling place, or even the wrong ward, to cast their ballot, an election judge can tell them where to go.

“Additionally, they’ll have all the information refreshed on a real-time basis, to see who used early voting, and who used absentee voting,” Allen said. “This will replace this process of trying to get the judges stickers at 5 a.m.”

Election officials could not provide a cost estimate for the electronic polling books, as they were still negotiating with potential contractors.