An investment in iPads should keep voters moving in and out of their polling places smoothly on election days for years to come in Delaware County.

An investment in iPads should keep voters moving in and out of their polling places smoothly on election days for years to come in Delaware County.

The county board of commissioners gave election officials the OK to purchase 250 iPad Air tablets in September. Poll workers will use the equipment to check in voters Tuesday, Nov. 3, instead of the traditional ink-and-paper method.

Board of Elections Director Josh Pedaline said the reaction to the new system has been "pretty positive" so far. He admitted there will be a "learning curve" with the new devices.

"Will it speed things up? I think it will eventually," he said.

The new technology, along with training and support from St. Louis-based vendor Knowink, cost about $325,000. The state paid about $200,000 -- about 60 percent of the upgrades' cost.

Steve Cuckler, chairman of the Delaware County Board of Elections, said county officials vetted multiple vendors and found Knowink's products "by far and clearly the best."

Keith Cunningham, regional director for Knowink, said Delaware County officials made the right decision by implementing the technology ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

"It's kind of like flying," he said. "Taking off's the hardest part."

Cunningham demonstrated the tablets' capabilities for poll workers Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the election board's Delaware headquarters.

The tablets allow county residents to swipe their driver's licenses on a card reader to check in. One swipe brings up a resident's home address and proper polling location.

If the information is correct, the voter can sign his or her name on the tablet, which the poll worker will match to signatures already on file with the county.

The tablet then prints out a slip giving the resident the authority to vote -- a document that previously had to be filled out by hand.

The tablet will highlight residents' names in different colors if they are at the wrong polling location, already voted or filed an absentee ballot. A voter also can view his or her proper polling place immediately on the tablet if he or she is at the wrong location.

The system also will eliminate the need for election workers to scan bar codes or manually record voters' names after they sign in.

Cuckler said the county conducted a pilot program with the tablets at multiple polling locations last spring.

"All the poll workers and the voters in those locations had great things to say about (the tablets)," he said.

Pedaline said Knowink representatives and county officials will be ready to help troubleshoot any problems on Election Day.

"We have checks and balances in place," he said. "We train our people to get back in touch with us if there (are) any problems."

Cunningham said nine counties in Ohio currently use Knowink's system to check in voters and five more are planning pilot programs. He said the company has sold systems to counties in 11 states.