- Voting in the 2020 presidential election will be in full swing this week. Over a dozen states are sending ballots to hundreds of thousands of voters for the November general election.
- This fall, election officials in 46 states and the District of Columbia are offering online election tracking services that will allow voters to check when their postal votes have been received and accepted.
President Donald Trump has asked his supporters to vote by mail and then go to polling stations to see if their ballot has been accepted. However, there is no need to take any polls to see if your vote is counted. In the vast majority of states, you can check the status of your voting slip online.
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Voting in the 2020 presidential election began earlier this month on September 4, when North Carolina sent the first general election postal ballot papers to over 600,000 voters in one day alone. And this year it's easier than ever to check online that your postal ballot has been received and counted.
Dozens of states have taken steps to facilitate voting by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine states and the District of Columbia and a number of Montana counties have all or most of the registered voters sent a ballot. and more, sending postal votes to all or most of the voters.
according to to an analysis by the National Vote at Home InstituteForty-six states and the District of Columbia, a non-partisan group committed to making it easier for voters to securely cast ballots from home, now have online portals that allow voters to track the status of their ballots at every step follow the path.
"Tracking ballot papers is very similar to tracking a package you order online, but for postal ballots," Amber McReynolds, CEO of the institute, told reporters at a news conference Monday. "Various data entry points are included in the process to inform a voter of the status of their postal ballot, from printing and mailing to receiving it at the polling officer at the end of the ballot process."
Now all voters in 34 states and the District of Columbia have access to a nationwide voting system. In these states, voters only need to enter a few details such as name, address and date of birth into the portal to view the status of their voting slip.
Five of these states – California, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia – also currently allow voters to sign up for email and / or SMS notifications to see when their ballot has been mailed, received, and accepted became voters have to manually check on the portal of their state. This option is also available in certain countries in other states.
In 12 other states, voting is offered locally in all or some counties, where voters can check the status of their voting or register with their county for notifications. You can find out how to track your ballot by going to your state or local polling office website and entering your name, address, and date of birth to see the status of your ballot.
This facilitation of access to the status of a ballot is at odds with President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated allegations of widespread mail in election fraud and his requesting voters who have posted ballots to check the status at their polling stations – when this can be more easily verified online .
Only four states – Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, and Wyoming – do not currently have any state or county-level election tracking systems that will be used for the November election. If you are in one of these states and have concerns about the status of your voting, you can contact your local polling office.
As of early September, over 45,000 Americans, mostly in North Carolina, have already returned ballots to their local election officials. According to a Michael McDonald database, an election scholar at the University of Florida.
Election officials in over 15 states are expected to send thousands more ballots to domestic voters who requested them earlier this week, as well as to foreign and military voters. Under federal law, election officials are required to send ballots to military and overseas voters who have registered to vote by mail no later than 45 days prior to the election, which will take place on September 19 this year.
Home-based voting is more accessible than ever in 2020, but presents challenges for voters unfamiliar with the postal voting process.
In numerous primaries across the country this year, several states, including New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia, have had national or local issues with voters not receiving their ballots at all, receiving them late, or getting their ballots back to their polling stations late.
Some of the administrative problems with postal voting and recent breakdowns and US Postal Service delays Many voters are afraid to vote in the mail. And recently Trump spread further confusion by asking voters in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to vote by mail and then going to polling stations to see if their ballot was accepted, and if not, vote in person.
Not only is federal law and most states illegal to vote twice in a federal election, but it is unnecessary to vote to see if your vote is counted, and it simply creates longer lines at polling stations say officials. In the vast majority of states, you can check the status of your ballot and make sure it has been accepted online from the comfort of your home.
McReynolds explained that most voting systems use data points entered by both the polling station themselves, such as when a voter's ballot request is received and processed, and from Intelligent Mail barcodes. Election officials or their salespeople can put these barcodes on the envelopes containing the voters' ballot papers, which provide voters with updated information on the status of their ballot papers as they are scanned at each step.
One of the largest vendors working with election officials to provide election tracking systems is the Colorado-based company BallotTrax, whose technology is currently in use in 25 states and hundreds of counties, the company said in a September 10 press release. BallotTrax technology has helped communities track over 60 million ballots since 2009, the company estimates.
"Voters using BallotTrax will receive a tracking service similar to Amazon's parcel tracking system that allows voters to sign up for text, email, and phone notifications to keep them informed of the status of their voting slip, as soon as it is printed, sent, delivered and, most importantly, officially tabulated, "said the company's CEO, Steve Olson. "Voters no longer have to wonder whether their postal ballot has actually been counted."
Election tracking systems also allow officials to quickly notify voters when there is a problem with their ballot that needs to be addressed, such as: B. a missing signature on the outer envelope or a signature that does not match the information provided by the electoral office in the countries used. Signature verification. Signature differences are increasingly the reason why ballots are challenged or rejected in 2020. A recent NPR analysis was found.
Jocelyn Bucaro, the current director of the Denver electoral division, told reporters that voting not only increases voter security, it also improves the security and integrity of a ballot from any point along the constituency path.
"In urban areas like Denver, where people live in apartment buildings with mailboxes that aren't necessarily on their doorstep, people don't always check their mail every day," she said. "When you receive this notification and know that your ballot is waiting for you in your mailbox, it is a helpful reminder and an important security feature."