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National Issues

Rep. Susan Davis Introduces Bill to Track Mail-In Ballots PDF  | Print |  Email
By Rep. Susan Davis Press Release   
March 22, 2007
Voters could check on incoming and outgoing mail-in ballots

Any voters who have worried whether the local election office has received their mail-in ballots would be able to track the status their ballots under a bill introduced by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA, pictured at left). The Mail-In Ballot Tracking Act (HR 1646) would require states to implement procedures for tracking, via the telephone and Internet, the growing number of mail-in ballots.

"Although voters across the nation are increasingly choosing to cast their ballots by mail because it is more convenient and they have more time to study their choices, many voters have been hesitant to do so because they fear their ballots would get "lost" in the system," said Davis.  "Implementing ballot tracking systems will bring voters peace of mind and reduce the burden on elections offices which are often barraged with phone calls from voters trying to determine the status of their ballots."

In California's San Mateo County, mail-in ballots are tracked with great success. The process of tracking overnight packages by using the Internet and the telephone has been available for years.  Davis sees no reason why ballots cannot be tracked using similar technology.

The United States Postal Service is currently introducing an "Intelligent Mail" system which, if applied to election mail, will allow voters to find out via the internet or the telephone which postal processing facility last handled their ballots and when they were handled there.

"Mail ballot tracking is a win-win for all," added Davis. "I believe it will increase voter participation as it increases peace of mind."

In January, Davis introduced the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act (HR 281) to allow voters to vote by mail for any reason. Depending on the state, restrictions limit mail voting to various categories of people, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities or illness, members of the military, or students.
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