[Screenshot image via WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov]
California’s Secretary of State has rolled out a new service that will allow Golden State voters in many counties to check on the status of their vote-by-mail ballot. Here’s the release:
The California Secretary of State’s office has launched the new “Where’s My Ballot?” tool. Voters can now sign-up at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov to receive automated notifications about their vote-by-mail ballots by email, text (SMS), or voice call.
“Shoppers are already used to receiving updates on their online retail purchases, from shipment to delivery. Now we can offer the same service to voters,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Voters who sign up for ‘Where’s My Ballot?’ can rest assured that their vote-by-mail ballots are accounted for at every stage of delivery. Signing-up takes just a couple of minutes, and voters will enjoy automatic updates on the delivery status of their vote-by-mail ballot for each and every election.”
“As vote-by-mail continues to grow among California voters, I urge every county elections office to adopt the “Where’s My Ballot?” tool — our latest step in further modernizing elections in California. “Where’s My Ballot” will also further strengthen voter confidence in the integrity of our democracy,” Padilla added.
Voters who sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” will receive automatic updates when:
- The county elections office mails the voter’s ballot
- The county has received the voter’s ballot
- The county has counted the voter’s ballot
- If there are any issues with the voter’s ballot
Voters who sign up for “Where’s My Ballot?” will also receive communications from their county elections office about important election deadlines and critical updates such as polling place changes.
Note: The “Where’s My Ballot” tool will only be available to a voter if their county elections office has adopted the tool. State law currently does not require counties to use the tool. “Where’s my Ballot” is offered to county elections offices at no cost. The Secretary of State’s office contracted with BallotTrax to customize a ballot tracking tool for California. BallotTrax has successfully deployed a similar tool in jurisdictions across the United States.
25 counties are currently offering “Where’s My Ballot?” to their voters:
- El Dorado
- Los Angeles
- San Benito
- San Joaquin
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Clara
AB 2218, signed 2018, required the Secretary of State’s office to provide a ballot tracking service to county elections offices.
As more and more voters cast votes by mail, the ability to check on the status of a mail ballot will be a valuable tool for voters to ensure that their votes were received and counted. Kudos to California for the rollout – it will be interesting to see how well it works and if more counties join the list as 2020 continues. Stay tuned …