Advanced ballots are already being cast for a special election in Wichita. Voters will decide whether a downtown hotel should receive a tax incentive from the city, but before deciding voters will go through a new process to comply with the new voter ID law.
“It takes a little longer to check in, but with only one question on the ballot it was a pretty quick process,” says voter Keith Murray.
Advanced voting got just a little more advanced with electronic polling. You'll first notice you need a photo ID when you check in. You hand it to the poll worker who scans it. Then you sign your name on the signature pad much like a credit card.
This it the first time Wichita voters will use the new process because of a new voter ID law.
"You have to show identification. I was impressed with the Driver’s license. You didn't have to have them spell out everything, they can scan the barcode. It was not all that difficult,” said Murray.
The electronic process is designed to eliminate error for voters and poll workers alike.
“As a poll worker this is going to be much quicker and easier than sorting through the big books, finding people's names, and potentially misspelling people's names. This is going to be very helpful,” said poll worker Teresa Lang.
Election commissioner Tabitha Lehman says it’s efficient. She expects about 15% of voters to vote in this special election.For larger elections, the scan, print receipt, and go method will help the voting process move faster.
“I believe very strongly that in order to stay on top of things we need to be at the top of the electronic age to make things more secure so this is definitely a step on that direction,” said election commissioner Tabitha Lehman.While some have worried the voter ID law make it more difficult to vote, Lehman says the technology should make it easier in the long run.
“The eventual goal is to get to where anyone can vote anywhere on election day and this is one more step towards that,” said Lehman.
For this special election, many of your regular polling places are not available. Voters will be notified by mail where they should go to vote February 28th.