Ballot Bulletin: Badger Books
Time for another Ballot Bulletin where we dive into the processes in place to ensure our elections are fair, accessible, and secure. This week we are highlighting Badger Books, which are also known as electronic poll books.
What are Badger Books?
Badger Books are an electronic version of the paper poll book. These electronic poll books work the same as the paper poll books but with some added features. Badger Books are used to check in voters, process Election Day registrations, and record absentee ballot participation.
Electronic poll books ensure consistency, efficiency, and make end of election day activities easier and more accurate.
Are Badger Books safe?
First and foremost, Badger Books were custom made for Wisconsin elections by the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Badger Books are not connected to the internet or to any other outside source. They are connected only to each other by a private network within the polling place.
From the voter perspective, the actual process of voting does not change at all. Voters still have the choice to vote using paper ballots or electronic voting machines, and voters still place those ballots in the tabulator.
The tabulator is not connected to the Badger Books in any way, so no voting data is stored on the Badger Books — ensuring your ballot choices stay secret!
What are the benefits of Badger Books?
Badger Books can shorten lines on Election Day by speeding up important Election Day tasks, including the process for same day voter registration and the process for checking in voters at their polling place.
Badger Books dramatically speed up important post-election data collection and reporting, making tasks that once took clerks hours to complete, now take minutes.
They also reduce the possibility for human error in post-election data collection and reporting.