Star’s TSP650II BTi and KNOWiNK Get Vote of Confidence from Lee County
There are few people, if any, who enjoy waiting in long lines on Election Day.
Star Micronics recently teamed up with KNOWiNK, a provider of innovative polling software, to streamline the voting process in Lee County, a notoriously busy municipality. The Lee County Election office in Florida’s Fort Meyers Metro Area handles the election polling for the county’s growing base of over 395,000 registered voters, making voting a costly and time-consuming process.
A reliable bellwether in retail and hospitality, Star’s TSP650II series thermal receipt printers offered printing support to KNOWiNK’s polling software platform. Together, Star and KNOWiNK used technology to streamline Lee County’s busy polling season.
Before KNOWiNK and Star, the voting process was a long, arduous sequence. First, the voter had to present their ID to an agent for verification. Then, they had to sign in to a large, printed voter registry. Once completed, the voter received instructions on where to cast their ballot. Then they would enter their ballot and leave.
Even after the voter finished, the polling process continued for poll officials. At the conclusion of the poll, the municipality hired temporary workers to scan the individual barcodes on the back of every entry in the sign-in book. This information was then saved in a database that tracks when and which elections the resident voted in to help determine voter behavior—for example, if an individual votes in every election or only state or presidential elections, etc.
“Voting in Lee County was an expensive proposition, because it took so many manpower hours to run each election,” said Gene Hinspeter, Lee County Election Official. “We decided that it was time to look for a system that would help streamline some of the process, reduce the number of workers needed and save taxpayer dollars.”
KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad is an all-in-one system that works as an electronic poll book. The solution helps simplify voter check-in and posts instant updates to voter history. KNOWiNK’s Poll Pad enabled the Lee County Election office to speed up the process by scanning barcode information from voters’ driver licenses for identification, accepting and recording signatures on an Apple™ iPad® and storing the information in a database.
Lee County also selected Star’s TSP650II BTi printer for locations that offer multiple ballot formats. The county explored several mobile desktop printing options, but required one with an auto-cutter for better efficiency, ease of use and speed of service.
“Having a printed receipt ensures that voters receive the correct ballot without confusion,” Hinspeter said. “Although it seems like a small detail, the auto-cutter was critical. It eliminates the possibility of crumpled or torn receipts that need to be reprinted and slow down the process. Star’s printer had all of the features we needed at a price point that worked within our budget.”
The TSP650II BTi is Star’s first desktop Bluetooth printer. It is an Apple MFi certified unit that is approved for use with the iPod Touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. The TSP650II BTi is lightning fast, printing 60 receipts per minute. It’s equipped with easy “drop in and print” paper loading, a small footprint suitable for tight spaces and a reliable guillotine cutter.
With poll workers at ease on a one-touch system designed specifically for them with support from Star’s reliable TSP650II BTi thermal receipt printer, voter check-in now moves at brisk pace. Lines at Lee County polling destinations move quickly, and the call volume from precincts to election officials has diminished drastically.
“The new electronic Poll Pads and Star TSP650II BTi thermal desktop Bluetooth printers make a huge difference in the time people spend waiting in line to check in and receive their ballots,” Hinspeter said. “We’ve received a lot of good feedback from residents who appreciate the smooth check-in and taxpayer savings the KNOWiNK solution provides.”
For more information about Bluetooth printing and how it can speed up Election Day processes, contact Star Micronics today!