Ballot Tracking Bill Approved by Legislature

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – The Legislature has approved Assembly Bill 2218, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), which would enable California voters to track their vote by mail ballots by 2020.

“With more than two-thirds of California voters choosing to vote by mail at this year’s primary election, it is time for the state to better utilize technology to help voters track their vote by mail ballots,” said Assemblymember Berman. “AB 2218 will give voters greater peace of mind that their ballots are counted, while cutting down on the number of vote by mail voters who are disenfranchised due to correctable errors.”​

In all but one statewide election since 2010, a majority of California voters cast their votes using vote by mail ballots, and as of November 2016, 51% of California voters were registered as permanent vote by mail voters. That number is expected to climb as the California Voter’s Choice Act is implemented.

Under this bill, the Secretary of State would be required to develop a tool that allows vote by mail voters to opt in to receive email or text notifications about the status of their ballots. County elections officials would be able to send reminders to voters who have not returned their ballots and quickly contact voters who need to provide additional information – a signature, for example – in order to have their ballots counted.

AB 2218 was inspired the Denver Elections Department’s Ballot TRACE (Tracking, Reporting, and Communication Engine) System, which similarly enables voters to track their ballots and allows elections officials to deliver important information about steps voters can take to ensure that their ballots are counted.

Governor Brown has until September 30th to act on the bill.

Contact: Kaitlin Curry (916) 319-2024