Track Your Ballot Via E-Mail Or Text Message
Denver Unveils First-Of-Its-Kind Program In Country
Last Updated: 1037 days ago
They say every vote counts, but do you sometimes wonder if your ballot got lost in the mail?The Denver Elections Division said Tuesday that will not happen this year.The ballots for the August primary go out Wednesday, and Denver will be tracking them every step along the way.New state-of-the-art technology called Ballot TRACE is an innovative ballot tracking service, pioneered together by the Denver Elections Division, i3Logix (a Denver software company), and the U.S. Postal Service.Once you drop your ballot in the mail this time around, new technology and a bar code will allow you to track it up to the minute it's counted.If you live in Denver, you should know almost exactly when your vote is in."We can track everyone's ballot through the mail system. And then back to our office as well, when they return," said Amber McReynolds, deputy director of elections for the Denver Elections Division."It sounds like it can really improve the process. I know sometimes (ballots) get lost or different things happen," said voter Cody McNutt.Denver will be the first city in the nation to use this tracking system so high tech it will e-mail or text you when your ballot is counted. It will also notify you of your ballot's whereabouts every step along the way.But some wonder if it's technology with unintended consequences."I would have some concerns about who was looking at this information. And how it was affecting the actual voting turnout," said McNutt.Denver elections officials said no one but certain elections officials will have access to the ballots. And they said, political organizations are already allowed to view public information about which ballots are in and whose ballots are still out.The new system is partially in response to debilitating problems in years past - including long lines, and systems so flawed one out of every 100 ballots in 2006 was miscounted by some machines in Denver."One of our biggest customer service calls in 2008 was, 'Where's my ballot and when is it coming?'" said McReynolds. "A lot of other jurisdictions only have the ability to provide information about when the ballot was mailed out and then when it was returned."Keep in mind this is available to Denver residents only.A number of other metro area counties are watching to see how it works in Denver during next month's primary.Seattle, Washington and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have also expressed interest in the technology.To sign up for ballot notifications go to Denver Elections Division's website. The system cost the elections division about $10,000.Fifty-five percent of Denver voters have now signed up for permanent mail-in status. That's the highest number ever recorded.