A Look at How—and How Many—States Adopt Electronic Poll Books

Legislative and technological approaches vary widely as systems gain popularity across the nation

A Look at How—and How Many—States Adopt Electronic Poll Books
A data visualization from
A data visualization from The Pew Charitable Trusts
LINE	Category	SubCategory	LongName	AL	AK	AR	AZ	CA	CO	CT	DC	DE	FL	GA	HI	IA	ID	IL	IN	KS	KY	LA	ME	MD	MA	MI	MN	MS	MO	MT	NC	ND	NE	NV	NH	NJ	NM	NY	OH	OK	OR	PA	RI	SC	SD	TN	TX	UT	VT	VA	WA	WV	WI	WY
E000	EPB	State has some form of EPB	EPB Usage	x	x	nr	y	y	y	x	y	x	y	y	nr	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	y	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
E100	EPB	EPBs used statewide	EPB Usage	n	n	nr	n	n	y	x	y	x	n	y	nr	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	y	x	y	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	n	nr	nr	y	x	n	x	n	x	n
E110	EPB	EPBs used only in certain jurisdictions or polling sites	EPB Usage	n	n	nr	y	y	n	x	n	x	y	n	nr	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	x	n	x	n	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	y	nt	nr	n	x	y	x	y	x	y
L130	Legislation	Passed	Legislation	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	y	x	n	y	n	nr	x	x	y	x	n	y	n	nr	x	n	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	n	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	n	y	y
L140	Legislation	 Certification requirements	Legislation	x	x	nr	nr	y	n	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	n	x	n	y	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	y	n	x	n	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	n	x	n
D150	Development	System Designed by State 	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	n	n	nr	v	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	y	x	n	x	n	x	n
D160	Development	System designed by outside vendor(s)	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	y	n	x	nr	x	y	y	nr	v	x	y	y	y	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	y	nr	x	n	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	y	x	y
D170	Development	System designed jointly by state and vendor(s)	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	n	n	nr	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	n	nr	x	y	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	y	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
D180	Development	Hardware is proprietary to vendor	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	v	n	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	n	x	v	v	v	nr	x	x	y	x	n	v	y	nr	x	v	v	x	y	x	x	n	x	v	x	x	v	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	y	x	n
D190	Development	Hardware is off the shelf	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	v	n	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	v	v	nr	x	x	n	x	y	v	y	nr	x	v	v	x	n	x	x	y	x	v	x	x	v	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	n	x	y
D210	Development	Software is proprietary to vendor	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	y	n	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	v	nr	x	x	y	x	n	v	y	nr	x	n	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	y	x	y
D220	Development	Software is off the shelf	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	n	v	nr	x	x	n	x	n	v	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
D240	Development	Software is proprietary to state	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	n	n	nr	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	y	n	n	nr	x	y	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	n	x	n	x	n
D250	Development	Maintenace performed in-house by state or county 	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	nr	y	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	n	nr	x	y	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	v	x	y	x	y
D260	Development	Maintenance performed by vendor	Development and Licensure	x	x	nr	nr	nr	n	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	n	n	n	nr	x	n	y	x	n	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	v	x	y	x	n
F280	Features	Check voters in	Features	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
F290	Features	Verify whether ballot was cast	Features	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	n	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
F300	Features	Ballot production	Features	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	n	x	v	y	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	y	nr	x	y	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	y
F310	Features	Verify ballot totals 	Features	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	n	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	y	x	y
F320	Features	Same-day registration	Features	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	n	n	nr	y	x	v	n	n	nr	x	x	y	x	n	y	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	y	x	n	x	n	x	y
P330	Processing	Testing conducted by state before each election	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	n	x	n	y	n	nr	x	x	y	x	n	n	n	nr	x	y	n	x	n	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	y	x	n	x	y	x	n
P340	Processing	Testing left up to counties	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	y	n	x	nr	x	y	n	nr	y	x	y	n	y	nr	x	x	n	x	y	y	y	nr	x	n	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	n	x	y
P350	Processing	Audits conducted by state after each election	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	n	y	nr	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	y	x	n	n	n	nr	x	nr	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	y	x	n	x	n	x	n
P360	Processing	Audits occasionally conducted by state 	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	n	n	nr	n	x	n	y	n	nr	x	x	n	x	y	n	n	nr	x	nr	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
P370	Processing	Audits  left up to counties	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	y	n	nr	n	x	y	n	y	nr	x	x	n	x	y	y	y	nr	x	nr	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	x	x	n	x	y	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	y	x	y
P380	Processing	Backup EPBs available on Election Day	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	v	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	y	n	nr	x	x	y	x	n	n	y	nr	x	y	y	x	n	x	x	y	x	n	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	y
P390	Processing	Backup paper rolls available on Election Day	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	v	n	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	n	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
P400	Processing	No backup system available on Election Day	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	n	n	nr	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
P410	Processing	Data transmitted directly from counties to state	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	nr	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	n	nr	x	x	y	x	n	n	n	nr	x	nr	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
P420	Processing	Data transmitted between counties and from counties to state	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	nr	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	nr	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
P430	Processing	Data transmitted only between EPBs within same polling place or county	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	nr	n	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	n	y	nr	x	x	n	x	n	y	y	nr	x	nr	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	y	x	y
P440	Processing	Written security protocol	Processing and Security	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	y	y	nr	y	x	n	y	n	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	n	x	y
H450	Housed	Name	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
H460	Housed	Whether ballot cast	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
H470	Housed	Date of birth	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	v	x	y	x	y
H480	Housed	Last four digits of Social Security number	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	y	x	n
H490	Housed	Full Social Security number	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
H500	Housed	Driver's license/state ID	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	n	y	nr	x	n	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	y	x	n
H510	Housed	Address	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
H520	Housed	E-mail address	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	y	x	n
H530	Housed	Early/absentee status	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	n	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	n	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	n
H540	Housed	Electronic signature	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	y	nr	x	n	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
H550	Housed	Voter polling place	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	n	y	nr	x	y	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	v	x	y	x	y
H560	Housed	Party preference	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	y	y	x	nr	x	v	y	nr	n	x	v	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	y	n	n	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
H570	Housed	Time of arrival or vote cast	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	y	n	nr	x	x	y	x	y	n	n	nr	x	y	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	y	x	n	x	y
H580	Housed	Type of ballot issued	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	n	y	nr	x	y	y	x	n	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
H590	Housed	Voter  eligibility	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	y	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	y	y	nr	x	x	y	x	y	y	y	nr	x	y	y	x	n	x	x	y	x	y	x	x	y	x	y	nr	nr	nr	y	x	y	x	y	x	y
H600	Housed	Voter phone number	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	y	x	v	n	n	nr	x	x	n	x	n	n	n	nr	x	y	n	x	y	x	x	n	x	y	x	x	y	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n
H610	Housed	Voting history	Housed or Collected Data	x	x	nr	nr	n	n	x	nr	x	v	n	nr	n	x	v	n 	n	nr	x	x	n	x	y	n	y	nr	x	n	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	x	x	n	x	n	nr	nr	nr	n	x	n	x	n	x	n		#intro
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Overview

Electronic poll books (also e-poll books, or EPBs) are digitized voter registries, used in lieu of paper voter lists at polling places to check in voters on Election Day or during early voting. E-poll books can also perform a variety of additional functions that paper rolls cannot, such as ballot production, same-day registration, and verification of ballot totals after polls close. Jurisdictions in at least 27 states use EPBs,1 but the design, function, and maintenance of those systems vary widely.

Pew has collected and compared information from each state and the District of Columbia to examine trends in implementation, identify emerging best practices, and help guide states as they consider adopting or updating EPBs.2 This research is also intended to inform EPB users about innovations and potential system improvements. This interactive tool tracks the states in which some or all jurisdictions use EPBs and summarizes findings from a survey Pew conducted that examined EPB use across five categories: legislation, development, features, security, and data collection. Data was originally collected through the summer of 2016 and was verified in November of 2016.

Endnotes
  1. Several states are preparing to launch EPB systems, and this interactive will be updated in the coming months to reflect their progress.
  2. Certain vote-by-mail states with limited or no physical polling sites have not pursued electronic poll books.

Comparative chart of systems

Select a system
Clear Selections
  • EPB Usage

    State has some form of EPBEPBs used statewideEPBs used only in certain jurisdictions or polling sites

  • Legislation

    PassedCertification requirements

  • Development and Licensure

    System Designed by StateSystem designed by outside vendor(s)System designed jointly by state and vendor(s)Hardware is proprietary to vendorHardware is off the shelfSoftware is proprietary to vendorSoftware is off the shelfSoftware is proprietary to stateMaintenace performed in-house by state or countyMaintenance performed by vendor

  • Features

    Check voters inVerify whether ballot was castBallot productionVerify ballot totalsSame-day registration

  • Processing and Security

    Testing conducted by state before each electionTesting left up to countiesAudits conducted by state after each electionAudits occasionally conducted by stateAudits left up to countiesBackup EPBs available on Election DayBackup paper rolls available on Election DayNo backup system available on Election DayData transmitted directly from counties to stateData transmitted between counties and from counties to stateData transmitted only between EPBs within same polling place or countyWritten security protocol

  • Housed or Collected Data

    NameWhether ballot castDate of birthLast four digits of Social Security numberFull Social Security numberDriver's license/state IDAddressE-mail addressEarly/absentee statusElectronic signatureVoter polling placeParty preferenceTime of arrival or vote castType of ballot issuedVoter eligibilityVoter phone numberVoting history

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD DC MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD DC MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY
State has some form of EPB
YES
NO
Varies
No response

Comparative chart of systems

State selections

EPB Usage
State has some form of EPB
EPBs used statewide
EPBs used only in certain jurisdictions or polling sites
Legislation
Passed
Certification requirements
Development and Licensure
System Designed by State
System designed by outside vendor(s)
System designed jointly by state and vendor(s)
Hardware is proprietary to vendor
Hardware is off the shelf
Software is proprietary to vendor
Software is off the shelf
Software is proprietary to state
Maintenace performed in-house by state or county
Maintenance performed by vendor
Features
Check voters in
Verify whether ballot was cast
Ballot production
Verify ballot totals
Same-day registration
Processing and Security
Testing conducted by state before each election
Testing left up to counties
Audits conducted by state after each election
Audits occasionally conducted by state
Audits left up to counties
Backup EPBs available on Election Day
Backup paper rolls available on Election Day
No backup system available on Election Day
Data transmitted directly from counties to state
Data transmitted between counties and from counties to state
Data transmitted only between EPBs within same polling place or county
Written security protocol
Housed or Collected Data
Name
Whether ballot cast
Date of birth
Last four digits of Social Security number
Full Social Security number
Driver's license/state ID
Address
E-mail address
Early/absentee status
Electronic signature
Voter polling place
Party preference
Time of arrival or vote cast
Type of ballot issued
Voter eligibility
Voter phone number
Voting history

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