Some Iowa voters going to the polls for primary elections today are using their driver’s licenses to check in before casting ballots. New scanners being tested in 40 counties cross-check the driver’s license with computerized voter registration rolls. Cerro Gordo County Auditor Ken Kline says the new scanners speed up the process.
“Basically it’s a very quick, easy and accurate way to search for and select the voter,” Klein says. “The old way, obviously, is to type in a part of the voter’s name and search based on that.”
But Kline stresses this is not a requirement that someone show some sort of photo I.D. before they’re allowed to vote.
“Photo I.D. is where the precinct official handles the driver’s license and looks at the photo,” Kline says. “In this case, the voter actually handles the license and it’s the voters choice. It’s not required. Obviously in photo I.D., that would be a required thing.”
The technology was tested in city elections in Cerro Gordo County last year. More than 70 percent of voters in those elections last fall opted to swipe their driver’s license to check in, saving time for poll workers and speeding up the process of voting. The scanners cost about $250 each.