The Douglas County Clerk’s Office is deploying a tool called Ballot Scout, a service that allows voters and election staff to track the delivery and receipt of mail-in ballots through the United States Postal Service (USPS). Ballot Scout will be available to use for the primary election.
“We typically receive quite a few phone calls from voters who want to know whether we’ve received their ballots, so we are excited to provide this new tracking tool for them,” County Clerk Jamie Shew said. “Voters already get tracking information on packages. This system uses the same technology to provide additional security to the vote-at-home ballots.”
Built by Democracy Works, the tool uses USPS scan data to track the exact location of a ballot in the mail stream. This allows election staff to ensure ballots are being delivered to the correct locations in a timely manner, and when needed, correct any issues that arise during mailing as quickly as possible.
Ballot Scout also allows voters to track their own ballots by clicking on the link provided at douglascountyelections.com and entering their name and address. They will be able to view the status of their voted ballot as being mailed, in transit, or delivered. Voters can also opt-in to real-time messaging, and receive text or email notifications to track their ballot's journey and know it has been safely received by the Douglas County Clerk’s office. A voter who returns their ballot in a drop box can also use the Ballot Scout tool to verify their ballot was received.
“Ballot Scout is designed to give election officials and voters complete visibility into the mailing process,” said Jessenia Eliza, Director of Government Initiatives at Democracy Works. “Leveraging USPS Intelligent Mail barcode data, Ballot Scout provides transparency and accountability into a mail ballot’s full chain of custody, ensuring that ballots are not simply lost in the system.”
As of July 2, the Douglas County Clerk’s office had received more than 17,000 applications for advance mail-in ballots compared to the average 3,000 in past primary elections. The deadline to request an advance ballot to be mailed is July 28.
For information about voting and elections in Douglas County, visit: douglascountyelections.com.