By Ken Stone
A North County man says he’s testing the state and county system that allows voters to check the status of their mail ballots.
But not to worry. He can be trusted.
The voter is Michael Vu, for nearly eight years San Diego County’s registrar of voters.
On Monday — the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election with certainty — Vu gave interviews outside his Kearny Mesa offices.
Times of San Diego asked him a personal question: Have you voted?
His timely answer: “I have voted. In fact, I dropped off my mail ballot in the U.S. Postal Service today” — a box right outside his house.
Vu said he used a standard blue box as an act of support for the post office.
— Ken Stone (@KenStoneMedia) October 19, 2020
“I also wanted to experience firsthand the elapsed time and how tracking notifications are being sent for those who signed up for Where’s My Ballot,” he said.
Via that system, voters can confirm when mailed ballots are received and counted. They can be informed via email, text or voice call. Users can specify what time of day to receive texts or voice messages, and in what language (10 are listed).
The company calls BallotTrax “a unique, patent-pending solution that tracks the status of every mail-in ballot and sends a series of proactive alerts to voters telling them where their ballot is in the election process from printed to accepted! This gives voters peace of mind knowing their vote remains private and has been counted!”
In five states, and the District of Columbia, all counties are using BallotTrax, according to the company’s website. Besides California, they are Nevada, Colorado, Georgia and North Carolina.
The tracker is required under AB 2218, a 2018 bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September of that year that mandates a tracking service for county elections offices.
The Assembly passed the bill by a vote of 64-14, with Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel of Santee among those voting “no.” The Senate approval vote was 26-8, with GOP Sen. Pat Bates (representing Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Encinitas and parts of southern Orange County in the 36th District) also voting “no.”
Still forgot to register? Hope is not lost. County officials say you can register conditionally and vote provisionally through Election Day.
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