Tina Trenkner is the Deputy Editor for GOVERNING.com. She edits the Technology and Health newsletters.E-mail: email@example.com
In Denver, voters can receive updates on where their mail-in ballots are via e-mail or text.
This year, the city and county of Denver sent out 344,000 ballots for a mail-only election on school board representatives and an auto impound ordinance. To let voters know where their ballot is if they haven't received it, the Denver Elections Division teamed up with software company i3logix and the U.S. Postal Service to introduce Ballot TRACE, a tracking, reporting and communication engine. The first-in-the-country program, currently in beta testing, allows voters to see and receive updates via e-mail or text message regarding whether their ballot has been mailed, delivered or received back at the election division. More than 300 voters have opted-in for the service. Since then, a handful of voters told Denver Clerk and Recorder Stephanie O'Malley that the program has restored their confidence in the voting process because the updates were consistent with their experiences. O'Malley noted that the only challenge faced so far is that in some e-mail clients, there has been some lagtime from when messages are sent. But the Denver Election Division hopes to remedy that and have Ballot TRACE expanded in time for the 2010 elections.