iPads, extra judges expected to reduce Election Day wait time in McLean County

McLean County Clerk Kathy Micheal trained 500 election judges on how to use new iPads for registering and checking voters in. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Heart of Illinois ABC

BLOOMINGTON – Election officials in McLean County have been already working the polls but the day they see the most people is Election Day and they are ready for the crowd thanks to new technology.

Before opening for early voting McLean County Clerk Kathy Micheal trained 500 election judges on how to use new iPads for registering and checking voters in.

“The new iPads replaced the old laptops,” she said.

“These iPads have been extremely well received. We had them tested out by the judges before we purchased them. They were $300,000 and we had to have them. That’s part of elections, the cost. But it helps streamline the checkout process.”

The county bought a total of 156 iPads.

“It’s just like your regular check-in the process just like you’re walking up there and you want to register but you’re not registered. Well they can now, anybody there with an iPad, can register you to vote and get you your card and get you off to your touch screen just like a registered voter and it’s a much faster process,” Micheal said.

For seasoned election judges like Larry Dodds, the mayor of Colfax, the change in tech has been very helpful.

“The iPads are just so much nicer and quicker than the laptops. A person can walk up and be at the voting machine within a minute,” Dodds said.

The iPads, as well as an increase in election judges, Micheal hopes, will help reduce wait times for large polling places like Illinois State University.

“Normally we have 20 to 30 judges, this time we will have nearly 100. So we are hoping that will also help with the lines out there,” Micheal said of her plans for the Brown Ballroom on Election Day.

But if you want to skip the lines all together you can still request to vote by mail until Thursday.

Heart of Illinois ABC can be reached at News@WJBC.com. 

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