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Voting in the 2020 presidential election began earlier this month on September 4, when North Carolina sent out the first mail ballots of the general election to over 600,000 voters on one day alone. And this year, it’s easier than ever to check online to see if your mail ballot has been received and counted.
Dozens of states have taken steps to make it easier to vote by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with nine states and the District of Columbia, in addition to a number of counties in Montana, sending all or most registered voters a ballot, and more sending out mail ballot applications to all or most voters.
According to an analysis by the National Vote at Home Institute, a nonpartisan group that advocates for states to make it easier for voters to cast ballots safely from home, 46 states and the District of Columbia now have online portals that allow voters to track the status of their ballots every step of the way.
“Ballot tracking is very much similar to tracking a package that you order online, but for mail ballots,” Amber McReynolds, the CEO of the Institute, told reporters on a Monday press call. “It utilizes different data entry points into the process to let a voter know what the status of their mail ballot is from the time it’s been printed and mailed, all the way through to when it’s been received by the election official at the end of the process.”
McReynolds played a role in creating the nation’s first-ever ballot tracking system, BallotTRACE, while serving as the elections director for Denver, Colorado back in 2010.
Now, in 34 states and the District of Columbia, all voters will have access to a ballot tracking system available statewide. In those states, all voters have to do is enter some details like their name, address, and date of birth into the portal to see the status of their ballot.
Five of those states — California, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, and Virginia — also currently allow voters to sign up for email and/or text message alerts for updates on when their ballot was mailed, received, and accepted, as opposed to the voter having to manually check on their state’s portal. That option is also available in certain counties in other states.
In 12 additional states, ballot tracking is offered in …read more
Source:: Business Insider