Counties across the country are struggling to recruit enough staff for their election operations to sort and verify absentee ballots. This is becoming a problem now. You need not wait until the November mid-terms or the 2024 general election to see that staffing issues are impacting efficient ballot processing in primaries and local elections.
Many factors contribute to this strain on resources, including COVID-19 health concerns, the “great resignation”, intermittent school closures, and competition from for-profit enterprises. Private companies are luring workers with enhanced wages and signing bonuses. Some election jurisdictions are responding to staffing challenges by paying election workers $15 per hour and recruiting them from distant locations, just to have enough people to process the ballots.
At Tritek Technologies, we have heard from entities who previously believed they could not justify an investment in automated ballot-handling equipment. Now they realize that automation is becoming a necessity to carry out their duties in managing elections. Those who formerly saw automated equipment as “nice-to-have” are looking at their staffing situations and deciding their traditional reliance on volunteers may be insufficient.
Smaller districts often assume that vote-by-mail technology is complex, cost-prohibitive, and designed for large municipalities and states. They envision room-size sorting machines that take up valuable square footage. Those perceptions are untrue. Automated solutions from Tritek Technologies come in sizes designed to meet the needs of even small or medium size voting districts. Simply move them into storage when the machines are not in use and reclaim the space.
Ballot processing equipment can sort ballots to the precinct level using multi-pass sort schemes. Making room for a bin to hold ballots for every precinct is not required. Vote-by-mail technology providers like Tritek help voting districts set up sort schemes to process their ballots according to the size of their operations and the number of sort bins installed on their machines.
Tritek’s Correct-Elect systems feature patented vote-by-mail technology that slashes an election office’s reliance on manual labor. Every solution is custom designed and built to handle each voting district’s requirements. Equipment specifications consider floor space availability, volume fluctuations, and ballot designs. Portable and desktop systems are options for lower volume and limited space environments. We customize the sorting bin layout according to a voting district’s volume requirements. One or two people can process ballots accurately, doing the work that would require dozens of volunteers or temporary workers. The machine can generate the results quicker than organizations can achieve with only manual labor.
Our company holds exclusive patents on our ballot methods and apparatus. The vote-by-mail system provides a full audit trail, ballot process management, and status reporting. County election offices save ballot scans in color, grayscale, or black and white. Signature verification reduces the labor costs of validation and compliance even more. Signatures detected with barcodes are verified by a database of registered voters. Only the exceptions require human inspection.
If a lack of people will keep your election operation from processing ballots on schedule, contact Tritek Technologies and ask about our flexible and affordable solutions.
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