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Are You Ready for a Surge in Vote-By-Mail Ballots?

Inbound Ballot Technology Automates Verification And Processing

Correct Elect

States and other jurisdictions across the nation are bracing for a flood of Vote-By- Mail voter applications and mailed in ballots because of health concerns and social distancing policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Election boards need to switch a traditionally manual operation to the automated solutions necessary to handle the expected volumes of mail-in ballots they must receive, verify, sort, and count.

Tritek Founder Jim Malatesta

Tritek Technologies has been working with government election officials to help them prepare for an onslaught of absentee ballots. Tritek configurable solutions are affordable and appropriate for any size operation, from one that needs a single small machine to those that are expecting pallets full of mail-in ballots in the next election (click for information).

This sudden switch to mail-in voting comes when a portion of the election workers that normally handle absentee ballots are ill, quarantined, have childcare issues, or are needed at home to care for sick family members.

Fewer experienced workers combined with a substantial increase in mail volume could spell disaster for state and county election offices unless they are prepared to automate the processing of incoming ballots. Workers need social distancing and equipment to handle this mail.

Ballot Handling Procedures

When voters use mail-in ballots, they mark their choices and insert their ballots into secrecy envelopes. The voter places the secrecy envelope inside a larger outside envelope the voters must sign before mailing or dropping their ballots in a collection box.
At election offices, workers verify the signatures, separate the ballots by precincts, and count the votes. When absentee ballot volumes are low and spread out over many days, these processes can be handled adequately with manual or semi-manual methods. If volumes swell, the workload on peak days will be overwhelming for mail-in ballot elections.

Preparations Underway

Tritek has spoken with many secretaries of state and county election officials who are preparing for how to process the expected increase in mail-in ballots. This is the time to acquire the equipment needed to read, sort, and verify the mail at high speed. Officials cannot postpone solution acquisition. The process needs to start soon for them to be ready in time.

Tritek’s systems are in use, supporting election officials across the country, including some in states that conduct all their elections entirely by mail.

The Correct Elect systems are available for any size operation. Tritek customizes the machines to meet the needs of customers with very small volumes and those who process large numbers of absentee and mail-in ballots.

Correct Elect can handle ballot envelopes of any size and shape. Features such as barcode-reading or OCR capabilities, date and time-stamping, image capture, and thickness detection can all be incorporated into Tritek systems.

Governments do not usually mandate the methods used to collect, verify, and sort mail-in ballots. Legislation is not required to upgrade from a manual method that depends on county employees and volunteers, to an automated solution. This allows secretaries of state and election officials to choose the system that will work for them and begin the equipment acquisition process.

Besides alleviating a health crisis, vote-by-mail has other advantages, including lower election costs.

Correct Elect systems are available in three varieties, including a tabletop model. Correct Elect reads all styles of machine- printed and hand-addressed mail ballots at rates up to 15,000 ballots per hour.

Tritek’s field proven technology counts the ballots and processes the addresses, signatures and barcodes while printing the time and date on each ballot. Archived data is available in color, gray-scale or black and white. After capturing the data and verifying the signatures, Correct Elect systems sort the ballots to configurable bins assigned to the precincts or other separations — all in a small footprint on standard electric.

Signature verification can be handled automatically or manually, depending on the needs of our customers.

Correct Elect machines are field upgradable. As needs change and the number of vote-by-mail ballots increase, a jurisdiction’s automated ballot processing system grows with them increasing the life of the system. Correct Elect has been running reliably in several states for many years, including Washington, which has conducted all elections primarily by mail since 2005.

To learn more click here or call 302-239-1638 or email info@tritektech.com.

Related Links:

Tritek Blog: https://tritektech.com/tips/vote-by-mail/
Correct Elect product page: https://tritektech.com/solutions/correct-elect-vote-by-mail/

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