Albany -- Tuesday's primary elections will be the first statewide to use electronic poll books, a computerized check-in system that will replace the bulky, paper lists of voters that poll workers have used in the past.
The hope is that the new devices will eliminate or at least reduce the long lines that some voters confronted in the 2004 general elections. The poll books will allow workers to instantly verify that voters are registered and at the correct polling place.
"It's a lot easier and takes a lot less time than flipping through paper and also uses an encoder, so we're real pleased with this new method," said Elections Supervisor Carolyn Hatcher.
In the past, poll workers had to search for the correct ballot for each voter and crosscheck the voter's address for various state, local and congressional districts.
There will be at least two of the new devices at every precinct that has more than 250 registered voters, and one machine at each smaller site.