New Technology to Enhance November Elections

As the time to hit the polls nears, we sat down with state officials to see what’s new this election season.

Tomorrow the Secretary of State’s Office will be rolling out a new feature to assist voters on election day, and if you’re in Burleigh County, you also noticed new equipment during the primaries. That’s here to stay. 

The State Elections Director John Arnold says, “Any user, whether they’re on a desktop or a mobile phone, will be able to access our site and get the information they need.”

The Secretary of State’s Office revamped their website including a new mobile platform, so now any information you need for election day can be accessed on the go.

Arnold explains, “It’s not just the desktop version anymore and having to zoom-in and zoom-out. People will be able to have an easier time looking at those results.”

You’ll also be able to request absentee ballots and check your polling location. Maps are built in, so once you know your location, date and time, the website will give you directions to the voting booth.

Burleigh County brought in poll-pads, or electronic poll books during the primaries this year. 

Burleigh County Auditor and Treasurer Kevin Glatt explains, “Basically a voter comes in, they scan the barcode on their ID and it pulls them up, and it then produces a little receipt for them with their name, address, their date of birth and then also their precinct number.”

And if you end up in the wrong location, the poll-pad will redirect you by either printing directions or texting them right to your phone.

But, you will still be placing your ballot in a tabulating machine from 2004. 

Glatt adds, “The cellphone you and I, and pretty much everybody else, carries has way more technology than these machines do.”

Arnold says the state will be looking to the legislature next session for funds to replace the old tabulating machines.

The State Elections Director says in the next few years most states will be in the same boat, needing to replace old equipment.

The Burleigh County Auditor wants to remind everyone again to update their driver’s license before election day rolls around.

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