The Wilson County Election Commission is launching a ballot tracking system to provide both absentee voters and election officials greater accountability and confidence in the by-mail voting process.
Ballots will be tracked when they are mailed, delivered to the voter, when the marked ballot is put back in the mail and when it is delivered to the Election Commission office, according to a news release from the commission.
The Tennessee Secretary of State’s Division of Elections provides an absentee ballot status tracker at GoVoteTN.org. This site allows voters to check their registration status and confirm that their ballot has been received by the county election commission.
The innovative tracking system, Ballottrax, being introduced for this election in Wilson County allows those who choose to vote absentee a way to participate in the election more confidently. Voters may opt-in to the program and receive notifications about their ballot’s progress.
The program allows the commission to work with the postal service to track a mailed ballot as it moves through the postal system and send real-time ballot status messages to voters who opt-in to the system. Voters can choose to receive notifications by email, voice mail or text, making communication easy for every voter.
Phillip Warren, Wilson County administrator of elections said, “Implementing a system for our office and voters to track their ballot adds a level of confidence and accountability to absentee voting. This is one more way we protect the integrity of every vote cast in Wilson County.”
Information about how to sign up will be included in every ballot package sent. Through an easy and secure online portal, voters enter their contact information, choose how they best receive messages and even set specific times to receive messages. Ballottrax is easy to join, secure, confidential and tracks the ballot through the entire absentee process.
“As the number of voters choosing to vote absentee increases in Wilson County, we are working to improve the experience of by-mail voting. The addition of Ballottrax provides a greater level of confidence for voters that their ballot is received and ready to be counted on Election Day,” said Tammy Smith, assistant administrator.
Registered voters in Wilson County have three options to cast their vote this fall. From Oct. 14 through Oct. 29 there will be five Early Voting sites open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Nov. 3, Election Day, there will be 18 vote centers open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voters have no assigned polling place and can choose the most convenient of the 18 sites to cast their ballot. Information about Early Voting locations and Election Day Vote Centers are available at www.WilsonElections.com.
The third option eligible Wilson County voters have to cast their vote is by absentee ballot. The first step to voting absentee is to complete a request form. The form can be found at www.WilsonElections.com or by calling the Election Commission at 615-444-0216. When the request is received by the Election Commission, the information provided will be checked and the signature verified. Around mid to late-September ballots will begin being mailed to those that have requested. Voters should mark their ballot and put it back in the mail as soon after receiving them as possible. The marked ballot received by the Election Commission is verified and secured until Nov. 3.
The postal service recommends requesting the ballot no later than 15 days before the election and mailing it back no later than seven days before the election. The last day to request a ballot and the last day the Election Commission can legally mail a ballot is Oct. 27 — the seventh day before Election Day. Completed ballots must be received by mail at the Election Commission by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
“Whether you choose to vote in-person during Early Voting, on Election Day or vote by mail absentee, the Wilson County Election Commission is committed to the protection of every vote cast,” Warren said. “The addition of ballot tracking is another innovation to improve the quality, safety and security of your voting experience.”
For the latest information about voting, becoming an election worker, or any other election related issue visit www.WilsonElections.com or call 615-444-0216.