How Civix Technology is Ensuring Ballots are Counted
ORLANDO, FL (June 3, 2021) – With the current pandemic, many states expanded absentee and mail-in ballot options to allow people to vote safely from the comfort of their homes. Legislation is being considered by many states that would further expand and make increased accessibility processes permanent. With more people voting by mail, the number of rejected ballots rose as well.
An analysis by FiveThirtyEight, relying on data obtained from 27 states and Washington, D.C., shows that 297,347 out of 47,999,299 absentee ballots cast in the 2020 general election were rejected. Similarly, more than 550,000 ballots were rejected in last year’s presidential primaries, according to an analysis by NPR.
“This is detrimental to states as they work to support our democracy, especially as we’ve seen a relatively small percentage of votes can sway the outcomes of elections,” said Civix Government President Mike Wons. “The good news is that technology can make curing ballots easy and help ensure every valid vote is counted.”
Most absentee and mail-in ballots are rejected because required signatures are missing or don’t match the ones on record. Another common reason is that spouses will mail their ballots in the same envelope, which can cause both to be rejected. Many states have a process that allows voters to fix – or “cure” – their ballots so they can be counted.
Unfortunately, some states rely solely on mail to notify voters when their ballots have an error and need to be cured. With tight timelines for receiving cured ballots and delays in mail, this means many voters across the U.S. could miss the opportunity to cure their ballots in time.
As part of its Elections Platform, Civix offers technology that helps automates the cure process and incorporates modern forms of communication, like email, text and other technology enabled methods, to easily reach voters.
“In this day and age, we ought to be able to reach voters in a timely fashion to ensure they’re able to exercise their right to vote,” said Wons, whose team is currently working with states to modernize their elections vote-by-mail and online voting systems, including modern cure processes.
If a ballot is returned to the state as “undeliverable” or with an error, voters are notified by email, text, or mail, depending on the preference they selected when applying for the ballot.
“An added benefit of our system is traceability. We can track the status of a ballot from registration to mail to receipt, and if an error is found, from notification to cure. This is yet another way states can improve transparency, and as a result, boost voter confidence.”
Voters in states using Civix’s My Voter Portal can review their ballot status online in real time, in addition to a range of other individualized information.
Learn more about Civix’s Absentee and Vote-by-Mail technology below and how Vermont leveraged it to run successful, secure elections in the GovTech case study.