Skip to main content

Wisconsin E-Poll Book Update and Webinar

Posted in
Information Only
October 20, 2017
Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission
Sara Linski, WisVote Elections Specialist
E-Poll Book Webinar Memo 10-20-2017.pdf65.58 KB

The Wisconsin Elections Commission approved WEC staff to build a Wisconsin-specific e-poll book on June 20, 2017. Staff has since mapped out and designed Election Day processes that will be included in the e-poll book, keeping efficiency, training and usability in mind. If you would like more information about what e-poll books are and how they may apply to your municipality, please see our e-poll book FAQ posted in Recent Clerk Communications

We held a “show and tell” webinar on Friday, October 27, 2017 about the system we have designed.

Webinar for County and Municipal Clerks
Wisconsin E-Poll Book Show and Tell
You can now view a recording of the webinar and share your feedback through a survey here:

Building the e-poll book in house has allowed staff the flexibility to determine what is most relevant to include in the poll book according to polling place flow and Wisconsin statutes.  In addition to Wisconsin’s unique local processes, usability was the driving factor for the design of the Wisconsin e-poll book.  Through a process of observing poll workers and clerks across the state, we collected data to evaluate and identify the parts of the system that worked well and the parts that needed improvement.  Based on the testers’ feedback, WEC staff developed a paper prototype of the e-poll book and continued end-user testing using the prototype.  WEC staff continued to test and redesign the prototype until a model was developed that was easy to use and intuitive for poll workers and voters.  

The final prototype is nearing completion. Once completed, it will be developed by our in-house IT team.  Working on this in-house gives staff easy access to communicate with the development team to clarify system elements and Wisconsin procedures that must be accurately captured in the poll book.

After reviewing potential Election Day processes against their rate of occurrence and evaluating polling place responsibilities, WEC staff decided to include three Election Day processes in the e-poll book:

  • Checking in a voter. Voters have three responsibilities to complete before they can receive a ballot. They must 1. State their name and address, 2. Show acceptable photo ID, and 3. Sign the poll book. The e-poll book will guide poll workers through these steps to ensure voters who State, Show, and Sign can continue to vote on Election Day.  Poll workers will be provided photo identification guidance as part of the check in process, in addition to other helpful Election Day training tips.
  • Processing an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots are all processed on one day across the state. Some municipalities have upwards of 10,000 absentee ballots to process. Poll workers and chief election inspectors will have two efficient steps to process an absentee ballot in the e-poll book on Election Day.
  • Election Day Registration. Voters will have the ability to register to vote in the e-poll book on Election Day.  The e-poll book will record all the information they would complete on a voter registration form or MyVote, which can be imported into WisVote during post-election activities.  The process of collecting the information in the poll book will be poll worker directed overall, with the ability to have the voter complete information as well. After the voter completes registration on the e-poll book, the voter can be found on the poll list and checked in along with other registered voters.

It is not mandatory for municipalities to use e-poll books for elections in Wisconsin.  They are ideal for mid-sized municipalities with a high number of absentee ballots and Election Day registrations.  A paper poll book will still continue to be used in municipalities that choose not to implement e-poll books.  Decisions and options for hardware for the e-poll book are still pending.  We hope to have more concrete examples of what we expect the hardware options to be in the beginning of November.

We are very excited to share a peek into Wisconsin’s e-poll book.  The design was driven by feedback from Wisconsin clerks and poll workers to match your expectations of what the e-poll should be.  WEC staff will keep clerks informed about e-poll book resources leading up to the pilot in February and April of 2018 and roll out deployment in August 2018.

Live Webinar Requirements

You must be able to view videos on your computer, using a media application such as Windows Media Player. You will be connected to audio using your computer’s speakers.  If you are unable to access the audio over your computer speakers, you may select “Use Telephone” after joining the webinar.  Using the telephone for audio is a toll charge.  If you have questions about the technical aspects of the webinar, please contact the Elections Help Desk at or (608) 261-2028.

The webinar has a maximum of 500 participants.  In response to input from clerks, phones will be muted to reduce ambient noise.  Questions may be typed in and will be answered by WEC staff for the benefit of the participants as time allows.  A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) generated from the webinar will be posted after the webcast.

We look forward to you joining us for the webinar on Wednesday.  If you have any questions, please contact me: or (608) 261-7891.  Thank you.