2019 Elections

New technology comes to Onondaga County elections

By Kallan Arkeder, BDJ 464.02

Published on November 5, 2019

Voters comment on the new technology used in today's election. Video produced by Kallan Arkeder.

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Kallan Arkeder: Onondaga County community members gathered inside St. Joseph’s parish for Election Day.

Carol: I always come out I think it’s the American way you should vote because a lot of people don’t vote and then complain.

Kallan Arkeder: Although a few people did complain about the rain, that didn’t stop them from voting.

Gary: Well voter turn out is pretty heavy considering the weather.

Kallan Arkeder: But it’s not the weather that has people talking today. In years past voters come to their polling place to check their boxes and cast their ballot but this year there’s been an update in technology.

Gary: With past elections, we had a poll book this year we’re using iPads. The iPads seem to be much faster at least for the poll workers. The technology is new to a lot of people but people are accepting it. They’re kinda excited so I think its a step forward for the election.

Kallan Arkeder: In addition to making poll inspector Gary’s job easier, the iPads make Election Day more eco-friendly.

David: Not wasting all the paper and stuff. It seems to be pretty easy, smooth.

Kallan Arkeder: In and out, voting is that easy. But the future says voting can be a test.

Charlene: I thought it was like a test but you’re deciding what you want on the test.

Kallan Arkeder: So voters, you decide what you want this election. NCC News, Kallan Arkeder

CAMILLUS, N.Y.(NCC NEWS)– Although it was a gloomy day in Onondaga county, some new technology lit up today’s election. Onondaga County Poll Inspector Gary says the use of iPads has made the elections a lot more efficient.

“There is less paper on the desks, less chance of confusion and things like that,” said Gary. “I like the new technology.”

Rather than using a traditional poll book, county inspectors have gone digital and keep record of signatures with an iPad. Swapping from pen and paper to stylus and screen is a simple replacement for most. However, Gary says some voters have never seen a stylus before.

“The biggest question is how to sign the poll book on the iPad,” said Gary. “If that’s the biggest question today then I think we’ve done our job.”

The new technology is most certainly exciting, but it does not distract poll inspectors and voters from the primary goal of election day.

“We get here at 5 o’clock in the morning and we aren’t done until about 10 o’clock at night,” said Gary. “When we come in we have to make sure the integrity of the system is maintained.”

The technology may have changed but rest assured the process has stayed the same. Through simplifying the voting system, Gary hopes it encourages a greater voter turnout.

“It’s civic duty,” said Gary. “It’s something the United States is known for as far as being able to vote. It’s our right as citizens, it’s guaranteed and we should protect that.”