JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The presidential election may be months away, but new voting technology is already being tested in Jackson County. Poll managers believe November's election is going to be one with significantly fewer hassles, all because of a tablet that simplifies the check-in process for both workers and voters.
"Number one, there is no waiting in line anymore because of your last name. A to L, M to Z, whatever. You can go to any tablet," said Jackson County District 1 Election Commissioner Danny Glaskox.
The tablets are synced to a router with all the information needed to check-in a voter. Another change, the check-in process won't be delegated to parties anymore.
"In a primary, you can code these things for either Republican or Democrat," said Glaskox. This means voters can go to any poll worker with a tablet to check-in."
And because of the real-time link between the tablets, a voter is automatically marked as voted once they check in.
"So, this is going to eliminate, hopefully, voter fraud or someone attempting to commit voter fraud," said Glaskox.
The technology is a big step from paper and ink, operation-wise.
"I was a little nervous, but it's very easy. It's very user-friendly," said poll manager Stephanie Carter.
Poll managers are training now to make sure they're ready in November. And, so far, it's looking like an upgrade.
"I think it will be a lot faster. I think it will go a lot faster. Easier to look up people," said poll manager Sharla Warnol.
"I'm excited about it. I think it's going to make things much easier. The lines are going to be much faster. It's going to be much more efficient," agreed manager Kristi McDowell.
Harold Baxter had the technology under control before the short training session was over. He said the benefits of the tablets are easy to see.
"Practically no waiting in line. It should be a much speedier process. All done very simply and one station," he said.
Organizers are hoping the efficiency will convince more voters in Jackson County to participate in this year's election.
The county will be using 125 tablets from the company Election Systems and Software. Right now, Jackson County is the only coast county using this technology for this year's elections, and one of only a handful in the state.