At its May 21, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council approved a $32,850 grant from the state of Michigan, funded through the Help America Vote Act, to pay for 48 laptop computers and the peripheral devices needed to use the equipment as electronic pollbooks (EPBs).
The electronic pollbooks do not change the way voters cast their ballots; Ann Arbor voters will continue to use paper ballots. The electronic pollbooks are expected to make record-keeping at the precinct locations on election day more efficient and to reduce waiting time for voters.
The city had already accepted eight laptops and accessories, which were deployed at eight polling places for the May 8, 2012 election. That pilot program went smoothly, according to the staff memo accompanying the resolution.
An added incentive to the city to participate in the state’s EPB program is that the state will fund 50% of the cost of the maintenance agreements for Ann Arbor’s voting tabulators – if EPBs are implemented in all 48 of the city’s precincts by the Nov. 6, 2012 election. For previous Chronicle coverage of the pilot deployment, see “New Technology for Tech Bond Election.”
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]