- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Some voters in Minnesota’s primary election Tuesday will notice changes in the process.

MPR News (http://bit.ly/2b0DVxl ) reports that some ballots are already being tallied ahead of the primary because a law passed this year allows absentee voters who submit their ballots in person to place them directly into electronic counting machines rather than sealing them in paper envelopes to open later. The change is expected to save time and money.

“When we’re using the envelopes, that’s time and material costs that we don’t have to incur if the voter puts their ballot directly into the ballot counters,” said Ginny Gelms, Hennepin County elections manager.

All cities in Hennepin County, several other metro area counties and a handful of outstate Minnesota counties are offering electronic tabulators in the lead up to the primary for in-person absentee voting.

Additionally, the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/2anc6Bl ) reports that some counties are also shifting to electronic check-in of voters, a change that’s hoped will reduce wait times and possible errors.

The electronic poll book stations will be used around Hennepin County with the exception of Minneapolis, which plans to introduce the e-poll books next year. Poll workers will replace the paper rosters with electronic tablets when voters check in or are registered and when they log absentee ballots.

Hennepin County is one of only two counties in Minnesota to use the technology. Crow Wing County is in the midst of rolling out the e-poll book program.

The state established legislative guidelines for using e-poll books in 2013.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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