CSAC Bulletin Article

Secretary of State Launches New Ballot Tracking Tool

August 27, 2020

This week the California Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) released a new way for voters to track and receive notifications on the status of their vote-by-mail ballot. The Where’s My Ballot? tool allows residents of every county to sign up for automatic email, SMS (text), or voice call notifications about their ballot. Where’s My Ballot is particularly relevant this year, after changes were made to the General Election to allow all registered voters in California to vote-by-mail in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tracker is also released among a national conversation about the security of mailed ballots and could be a useful tool to assuage fears about ballots going missing. The service is being run by BallotTrax, a Denver-based company which has tracked ballots in more than 300 elections in the United States.

Ballot tracking is just one component of the Secretary of State’s efforts to ensure a smooth election, despite complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, in recognition of the fact that a large share of poll workers are often in the age group most at risk of complications if they contract COVID-19, the SOS launched a statewide poll worker recruitment effort. The SOS website contains a consolidated page where all Californians can sign up to be a poll worker.

Voter can also use the SOS website to register to vote and check their registration status. The deadline to register ahead of this year’s General Election is October 19, 2020.

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