FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Washington County polling systems are getting an upgrade.

The new equipment will be used in the special elections on February 8. This way, election officials can test it out before the primaries in May.

The technology speeds up voter check-in time by scanning Arkansas IDs and locating the voter’s information in seconds. Although, any form of approved photo ID will be accepted to vote.

“So we don’t see any security risk in this because it’s still operating the same system,” Washington County Director of Elections Jennifer Price said. “The only thing we’ve added is this new scanning feature.”

The tablets also eliminate the possibility of human error and limit the exchanges between poll workers and voters.

“We’re always trying to mitigate any circumstances where we’re touching anything that the voter is touching especially with COVID, but also cold and flu season,” Price said.

Washington County is the first county in Arkansas to have the tablets, but more counties in the state are expected to use the new systems in May.

The special elections will fill the State Senator for District 7 vacancy and the Fayetteville city council member ward 2 position 2 vacancy.

The polls are open 7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Early voting begins February 1 in the Washington County Clerk’s Office.