PHOENIX – Two texts. That’s all it takes to erase the uncertainty in the voting process, 82-year-old Colorado resident Charles Blackwell said.
Blackwell lives in Boulder County, where a voter services team sends him a text when it mails his ballot. The county sends another text after it receives his ballot and records his vote in the county database.
“I know when (my ballot) is coming so I can watch out for it and let someone know if it hasn’t arrived. And I know I’ve voted,” said Blackwell, a Longmont resident.
Colorado conducts its elections entirely by mail.
Mircalla Wozniak, communications specialist for the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, said voters who mail in their ballots can sign up to receive text messages, phone messages or emails.
Boulder County partners with a company called BallotTrax. BallotTrax has helped track ballots since summer 2009 and assists about 25 counties in Colorado, Ohio and Oregon, according to Steve Wolffis, vice president of the company.
The cost of the system varies depending on the number of ballots tracked. Wozniak said Boulder County spends about 3 cents per message. The service is free to voters.
The county started the program last fall and has about 1,600 participants. The preferred method of communication is email, Wozniak wrote in an email.
“I think this is a very good service,” Blackwell said. “I think it will eventually be ubiquitous over the country.”
This story was informed by a source in the Public Insight Network.