Electronic poll books, which essentially are computer software that load digital registration records, are used in at least one county in27 states, including Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
In Pennsylvania, Bradford and Washington Counties used some of the federal voting-act money to install the electronic poll books, according to the Department of State. New Jersey counties do not use them.
Poll books are emerging as an alternative to photo ID requirements to authenticate voters' identity, address, and registration status when they show up at polling places to vote.
Voting is the same, but signing in with electronic poll books is different. Poll workers check in voters using a faster, computer version of paper voter rolls. Upon arrival, voters give their name, address, or in some states, such as Iowa, they can choose to scan their photo IDs.
A far better job
Georgia and Maryland were the first to use electronic poll books statewide in 2005, said Merle King, executive director for the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw (Ga.) State University.