Atlanta – Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced today a pilot project that will create a more efficient and accurate check-in process for voters who cast their ballot in person on Election Day. If a voter's driver's license number is already recorded in the poll book, poll workers will scan the bar code on the back of the voter's Georgia driver's license or state identification card to immediately find the voter in the poll book and check them in to vote. This process will eliminate the need to manually look up every voter in the poll book.
Secretary Kemp certified, on an interim basis, a bar code scanner which has been initially tested by the Kennesaw State University Center for Election Systems. The bar code scanners will be first used and tested in Bartow County on Election Day, May 11, 2010, in the Georgia House District 12 Special Election.
"This pilot project is a 21st Century e-government solution that will speed the check-in process for voters, decrease waiting times at the polls, and improve the accuracy of creating voter access cards," said Secretary Kemp. "The bar code scanners will reduce the search time for a voter record from its current average of 10 to 15 seconds to almost instantaneous."
The bar code scanners do not change the check-in process in order to vote in an election. Voters must still complete a voter's certificate at their polling location. As required by Georgia law, poll workers must also check each voter's photo identification to ensure that it matches the voter. Voters using photo identification other than a Georgia driver's license or state identification card will be processed as they have before by poll workers using the electronic poll books to type in the voter's name.
Secretary Kemp, officials from the agency's Elections Division, the Bartow County Board of Elections, and the Kennesaw State University Center for Elections Systems will review the pilot project's results to determine the program's success, areas for improvement, voter feedback, and develop plans to expand the program to additional counties and precincts during subsequent elections.
If the pilot project is successful, barcodes will be added to the free Voter Identification Cards (VICs) issued by county registrars, enabling voters who do not have a driver's license to use a VIC for the bar code scanning check-in process.
Brian Kemp was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2010. Among the office's wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.