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Wausau switches to digital poll books

Story By Rachael Eyler
Local News Published 07/21/2021 6:34PM, Last Updated 07/22/2021 9:42AM
Wausau - Voters can expect to spend less time at the polls by using Badger Books, which will allow a more efficient and secure way for people to sign in or register to vote.

"The Badger Book is an electronic poll book, " Wausau City Clerk Leslie Kremer said. "All the voter information is in there, the poll worker checks them in, the voter signs on an electronic device, and the number is automatically issued."

It's a one-step process that, as Kremer says, will look pretty familiar, only faster--especially if you need to register.

"Instead of having to say, 'I'm sorry, you have to go another line and wait in that line to get registered,' it can all be done in one place," Kremer said.

The virtual books store information that won't be connected to the internet, meaning your information is safe and secure.

"This is put on by the Wisconsin Election Commission, so it is a state-run program," Kremer said. "The security is very high. There's little to no chance of any kind of hacking."

The information is then uploaded to the state's MyVote system in real time, speeding up a database that used to take months to complete.

The upgrade will reduce human error, limit paper waste, and require half the amount of poll staff. The city plans to hold an event for the public to learn how to properly use the new system.

Voters will put the new system to use in the upcoming February 2022 primary elections. The city's goal is to have enough Badger Books to cover all the poll sites in the future. 
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