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Virginia Beach debuts iPad system to speed up voter check-in process

The upgraded system allows elections workers to more quickly check in voters, reducing the time to as short as one minute.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — When the start of the lunch rush meets the start of early voting, Christine Lewis, the Virginia Beach director of elections, knows every second matters.

This election cycle marks the introduction of an upgraded check-in process for Virginia Beach voters, a faster, iPad-based process that allows election workers to check in registered voters before they cast their ballots.

“The Board [of Elections] voted to implement this know ink system which is the poll pads and the ballot on-demand printer. A voter comes, in checked in to the poll pad, they'll have a receipt printed and we have them make sure they check that receipt once the name is being printed to make sure that's them," Lewis said. 

Lewis said it's a technical boost from the more traditional method from years past, cutting down on a process that might take as long as five minutes down to one. 

At the elections headquarters in Virginia Beach, early in-person voters can arrive to find the new iPad system, along with an on-demand ballot printer that prints the voters' individual corresponding ballot. 

This exact process will be mirrored at four other satellite locations across the city starting on Oct. 24.

On Election Day itself, voters will then find these new polling pads at their respective voting precincts, but the ballot on-demand printers will not be needed. 

“We’ve eliminated the ballot officer using this system in this and the satellite offices," Lewis said.

More than 400 people voted early in person last Friday in Virginia Beach, the first day that option became available statewide.

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