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Taking A Page From UPS, State To Allow Voters To Track Mail-In Ballots

The 2018 gubernatorial primary election sample ballot and official ballot are...

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS News

Above: The 2018 gubernatorial primary election sample ballot and official ballot are pictured on a table, May 4, 2018.

A bill recently signed by Gov. Brown designates the California Secretary of State to come up with the tracking system that will be optional for counties, including San Diego, to use.

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said infrastructure would need to be built to use the vote by mail tracking system locally. Vu said the county will consider it.

Vu added that already voters can check online when their ballot was issued and received.

This new tracking system would allow voters to get a text or email about their ballot. Notifications would come when ballots are sent in the mail and once they have been picked up and officially counted. The system must be in place by 2020, and the bill designates the secretary of state to create it.

RELATED: Final San Diego Voter Turnout For Primary Election Will Be Close To 40 Percent

Current California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the system will work similar to tracking a package.

"I think it’s just one more level of confidence and comfort for voters to know when the ballots being returned to the county it’s indeed arrived on a timely basis," Padilla said.

Padilla said some counties already use similar tracking systems.

"With the increasing popularity of vote by mail or vote at home, it only makes sense for all counties to eventually, but hopefully sooner rather than later, implement this tool," he said. "It’s good for election transparency and accountability and it’s certainly good for voters."

Under the tracking system if a ballot cannot be counted a voter would be notified why it was not counted and could include steps the voter can take to have their ballot counted.

For the 2018 gubernatorial primary election Vu said the San Diego County Registrar of Voters mailed out at least 1.1 million ballots.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the tracking system will increase election transparency and accountability.

Election 2020 news coverage


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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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