ST. LOUIS – A local company that improves the voting experience at polls across the country just won a million-dollar grant.
St. Louisan Scott Leiendecker started Knowink in 2011. His technology earned him an Arch Grant a few years and then a million-dollar grant and partnership courtesy of Richard Chaifetz.
“We've got a great team that comes together and pulls these elections off for a lot of jurisdictions out there,” he said.
Leiendecker’s innovation, the poll pad, is being used at polling centers throughout Missouri and the country to check voters in when they arrive. You might have noticed it when you voted last November.
“It reduces the time in line and makes it quick and easy for the voter to get in and out,” Leiendecker.
The poll pad is the leading product in its industry. They have 40,000 units in 24 states and Washington DC, covering over 650 jurisdictions.
“It’s a true honor. It’s been a lot of energy, time, and hard work that we've all had to do,” he said.
Knowink was a $17 million company in 2018. They expect to do $24 million this year and have a goal of becoming a $50 million company.
Leiendecker said he’s proud the company is part of the St. Louis ecosystem.
“Downtown is coming back more than ever. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in St. Louis,” he said.
Without the poll pads in place last November Leiendecker said wait times would have been longer.
“It worked out tremendously well,” he said. “We got reports back from all over the country on how it reduced the lines, made it more efficient and easy for voters, as well as poll workers.”