SUPER-TUESDAY-03032020-KS-063 (copy)

An election judge at the Denver Election Division places ballot envelopes into a machine ensuring that the voter's signature can be verified on March 3, 2020. 

In time for the June state primary elections, the Denver Elections Divisions on Wednesday unveiled updates to BallotTRACE, a tool that lets voters track their mail ballots like they would a package.

BallotTRACE, which stands for Tracking, Reporting And Communication Engine, alerts Denver voters by text or email when their ballot has been printed out, put in the mail and delivered to their mailbox. Once voters mail back their ballot, they are notified again when it’s received by the elections division.

Improvements to the tracking system now include a mobile-friendly interface, enhanced accessibility options for people with disabilities, timelier notifications and greater search capabilities for nonstandard addresses.

“These enhancements ultimately increase the accessibility of the service and make the experience much more user-friendly,” Clerk and Recorder Paul Lopez said in a statement. “This is an excellent way for voters to access information specific to themselves, and we expect residents to use this tool more frequently and with greater ease.”

Denver was the first municipality to adopt the technology about a decade ago. Amber McReynolds, who led the city’s elections division from 2011 to 2018, was instrumental in making it happen.

“The entire elections process was never designed with the voters’ interest first,” McReynolds said in an interview with Governing. “It was designed for political parties and campaigns.” 

Her strategy was to fix that.

“As election officials, we must do what’s right for voters to make their experience meaningful,” she wrote in a chapter of the book “The Future of Election Administration,” published earlier this year. “By focusing our election administration processes and problem-solving efforts on the voter, from start to finish in all our processes, we can develop solutions that accomplish that goal.”

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