The state Assembly has made establishing early voting a priority in its one-house budget proposal.
The budget plan released late Monday contains $27 million to help counties establish early voting. County boards of elections would be eligible to receive grants to purchase electronic poll books, a digital version of the voter registration rolls.
Election commissioners say electronic poll books would make it easier to administer early voting. County boards of elections have books containing the voter registration rolls, but for many counties it would be a burden to transport each book to the early voting site and have inspectors sift through the books to confirm a voter’s registration.
Under the Assembly’s proposal, counties could receive grants up to $2,500 for the purchase of each electronic poll book. County boards of elections could purchase one electronic poll book for every 1,250 registered voters.
The funding would also assist county boards of elections with the purchase of on-demand printers. The printers provide a quick way to print ballots, especially for early voting.