Brad goes to Denver: Lessons from observing the Denver elections


   Adam and I had a great time visiting Denver, CO and learned a lot from observing their secure, accessible election process. Thank you to Amber McReynolds and all the other great folks who showed us around their wonderful city. It was inspiring to have the natural beauty of the Rockies as a backdrop to the beauty of their voting process.

Secure and Convenient

   One of the most striking parts of the voting process in Denver was the way they combined security and integrity with accessibility and convenience. Their proactive work has made voting safe and secure, and it has made elections an overall positive experience for both the voters and the election officials. Several components caught my eye, but today I am most excited about their election transparency, which they credit in large part to the use of Ballot TRACE.

Ballot TRACE – Transparent, convenient, and safe.

   Ballot TRACE  Tracking, Reporting, And Communications Engine, was created by the Denver Elections Division to support voting by mail. A common objection to voting by mail is the perception that we don’t get to follow our ballot from our booth to the counter’s table. Ballot TRACE eliminates that concern entirely. Ballot TRACE allows voters to track their ballot every step of the way from the moment they mail it to the moment it is counted — much in the same way you can track a shipment. In fact, Ballot TRACE uses the Postal Service’s technology to track the ballots. Voters can even sign up for automatic e-mail or text updates to receive messages about the status of their ballot. This transparency makes Denver voters more confident in the voting process, not only because they can track their ballot, but because they are another set of eyes to look for potential issues. If they don’t see their ballot as “counted,” they can call local officials and raise their concerns. The ability to have immediate access to this information is a huge improvement in election integrity, and in voter confidence.

Let’s bring this technology to Nebraska!    

   A truly fair election is one in which votes are secure, the election process is transparent, and the voter experience is an overall positive one. My time in Denver clearly showed that Ballot TRACE is an important step in that direction.

   This focus on security, transparency, and voter experience is one should seek to replicate here in Nebraska.

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