Electronic Badger Books aim to make voting more efficient in Janesville

Four of the city’s busiest polling place will use electronic Badger Books on April 5th
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Janesville Clerk-Treasurer’s Office plans to make the voting process more efficient by replacing paper poll books with electronic tablets called Badger Books.

People will still vote on paper ballots, but poll workers sign voters in with electronic tablets rather than searching through binders.

Over 100,000 Rock County voters casted ballots in the 2021 spring election.

City Clerk-Treasurer Lori Stottler said it cuts the time needed to find a voter’s ward to less than one minute. Badger Books scan a voter’s I.D., automatically provide their ward and then voters can cast their ballot.

”Once that’s done we’ll hit the done button, we’ll accept your signature and we will give you a voter ticket to take to the table for you to get your ballot,” Stottler said. ”Elections are my jam.”

She explained that the State of Wisconsin built the Badger Books and the Wisconsin Elections Commission implemented the electronic option.

“There is no big tech company that is selling us these pieces of equipment,” she said.

Long-time Janesville resident and active voter Scott Sparks said he trusts the clerk’s office and the voting process.

”I’ve never thought my vote had been rejected or tossed out or anything whether it was in-person voting or absentee voting,” Sparks said. “I always thought it was legitimate without a problem.”

The new check-in technology does not change his opinion.

”The process should go a lot faster I would think,” he said. “And it wouldn’t require as much man power or anything else. I think it should go a lot smoother myself.”

Voters can see the new technology in action before the April 5th election if they attend the public test at 8 a.m. Saturday at Janesville City Hall .

Stottler plans to deploy Badger Books to all Janesville polling places for the November election.

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