As Wisconsinites head to the polls today, two Manitowoc County towns are serving as a testing ground for a new type of voting system. The Prime III Voting System, an open source piece of election software, is being used at polling places in the Towns of Kossuth and Newton.
The software was developed with the use of federal grant dollars and, if it works, Reid Magney with the state Government Accountability Board says it could result in major costs savings for local election officials in the future. Prime III can run on just about any type of touch screen hardware, making it possible for clerks to use off the shelf components to operate it. The electronic voting machines currently used by most counties and municipalities can carry a high price tag. Magney says having the option to use something like an iPad or Android-based tablet could translate in to significant cost savings.
The software is still in the pilot stage and Magney says it would ultimately up to local governments to adopt its use. The federal government and state election officials would also have to approve the wider use of the software in elections.