Colorado voters will have a new tool this fall to ensure their ballot is counted.
A few counties across the state have been allowing voters to track the life of their ballots, and beginning with the upcoming election voters in all of Colorado’s 64 counties will be able to use that same system, Secretary of State Jena Griswold told The Denver Post. Registered voters with an email address on file will automatically receive notification in the coming weeks of their ballot’s progress on its way to them. Others can opt in at colorado.ballottrax.net and sign up for email, text or voicemail notifications.
“If you can order a pizza and see it as it’s being delivered, we think we should be able to offer the same service with voting,” Griswold said.
County clerks will mail ballots to voters across the state beginning Oct. 9, and that’s when the system will kick in.
“You’ll be able to see when the ballot packets are delivered to the Postal Service for mailing, when the county receives your voted ballot, when your ballot is verified in the system and accepted,” Griswold said.
It’s a simple enough system, Griswold said, and easy to expand statewide because a dozen counties were already using it.
The only outlier is Denver, which uses a different tracing system called Ballot TRACE. It was the first of its kind in the country when it launched in 2010, said Denver elections spokesperson Alton Dillard. Denver will continue to use that tracking system, and its voters can sign up for notifications at ballottrace.org.
The company behind the statewide tracking system is the Denver-based BallotTrax and launching it cost $70,000, paid for from a 2018 federal election security grant, said Steve Hurlbert, a spokesperson for Griswold.
Talks were already underway to expand the system statewide before President Donald Trump began saying that mail-in voting would result in massive fraud. It’s a happy accident, Griswold said, that the undertaking should also boost voter confidence in what is already considered the country safest election system.
“It gives an added sense of security,” Griswold said. “There’s a lot of misinformation swirling around about elections, especially from the president.”
BallotTrax has been a huge success for voters in Boulder County since about 2015, said Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick,. They take comfort knowing they’ll receive a notification as soon as their ballot is accepted and counted by the clerk’s office and in knowing they’ll have a chance to rectify any discrepancies flagged by election officials.
“That information can be made available to voters in real time and in a self-service automated type of way,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s really nice.”
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