Wisconsin election officials OK e-poll books

MADISON —The state Election Commission has decided to offer municipalities electronic poll books.

The commission voted unanimously Monday to have its staff develop the software. The project is expected to cost about $124,865 in staff time. Municipalities that choose to use the software would have to purchase hardware such as laptops and printers at a rate of $475 to $970 per check-in station at the polls.

According to a report staff provided to commissioners, at least 27 states use e-poll books. The books provide a list of all registered voters in a ward as well as information about them.

The commission considered contracting with a vendor to produce the software, but scrapped that option because it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars more.