Colorado voters already have the ability to find out the status of their ballots once they receive them in the mail, but now they can get automatic notifications about that status.
Under a new statewide program started by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, voters can sign up for automatic status updates of their ballots either by phone, email or text messaging.
The program, already in place in a dozen counties, is intended to help voters feel confident that their ballots have been sent and are being collected and counted, however they are returned, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said.
“For the first time, every Colorado voter will have access to ballot tracking, to be able to see when ballots are sent and when they are processed,” Griswold said Monday. “This new program is one of the many ways that Colorado continually innovates to ensure our elections are the best in the nation.”
Twelve Colorado counties, including some on the Western Slope, already have this program, which is known as BallotTrax.
Coloradans who already have provided an email address when they registered to vote will automatically be enrolled, but they can opt out, or change how they are notified. The service also allows voters to chose what times of day they receive those notifications.
Voters can sign up, opt out or change how they are notified by logging onto colorado.ballottrax.net.
Text messaging charges may apply if voters choose that option; otherwise, it is a free service.
The new program is only one of several things Griswold’s office is doing to ensure the integrity of voting, she said.
That’s partly why she filed a lawsuit over the weekend against the U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster Louis DeJoy over mailers sent to Colorado voters late last week about mail-in ballots.
That flier, which went to some households in the state but not all, contains false information when it comes to how Colorado conducts its elections, Griswold said.
Over the weekend, a federal judge approved a restraining order barring the Postal Service from sending out anymore mailers until a hearing can be held at the end of this week.
In her lawsuit, Griswold said the mailer may be accurate in other states, but not in Colorado.
“The mailer incorrectly asks that voters request a mail ballot 15 days before the election and return their ballots by mail at least seven days before the election,” Griswold said. “In Colorado, every registered voter is sent a ballot without having to make a request and voters are urged to return ballots by mail sooner than seven days.”
Under Colorado election laws, voters still can vote in person if they choose, and there are other options for returning them, including using drop-off boxes or bringing them into vote centers or county clerk’s offices, Griswold said, adding that the Postal Service flier implies that returning ballots by mail is the only option.
Griswold also warns voters not to attempt to vote twice as a way of testing the state’s election system, saying doing so is illegal and will be prosecuted.