The Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder’s Office received a prestigious award for a first-of-its-kind election innovation.
The Elections Division received the ‘Eagle Award for Outstanding Professional Practice’ from the National Association of Election Officials, also known as The Election Center. The award recognizes the County’s new “Text-to-Cure” program, which allows voters to resolve a signature or ID issue on a mobile device so that their mail ballot may be counted. Arapahoe County partnered with the Secretary of State’s Office and GlobalMobile to unveil Text-to-Cure during the June 2018 Primary Election.
“We are honored to be recognized by the Election Center for our innovative use of a mobile cure platform,” said Clerk and Recorder Matt Crane. “We know that citizens use their phones and tablets constantly in their daily lives, so we were thrilled to look beyond burdensome paper forms, and give voters a tool at their fingertips to ensure their mail ballot would be eligible and counted.”
Here’s how it works: Voters in Colorado are required to sign their mail ballot envelopes in order to prevent fraudulent voting. Arapahoe County uses state-of-the-art technology and trained election judges to review the signature on every envelope. If the voter forgets to sign, or if their signature does not reasonably match the signature on record in the statewide voter registration database, then the ballot is set aside. State law allows for a ‘cure’ period to resolve those issues. The County sends a letter asking the voter to affirm whether or not they voted the ballot within eight days of the election, so their ballot may be counted.
Historically, a voter’s only option was to complete and return a paper affidavit form. Now with Text-to-Cure, voters can send a text message containing the word “Arapahoe” to 2VOTE (28683) and receive a secure web link. By clicking on the link and entering an assigned pin, the voter can sign the affidavit using their finger, and upload a photo of their identification. The entire cure process takes less than a minute.
In the 2018 Primary Election, 300 voters cured their ballots using the mobile tool, while 155 returned a paper form. The vast majority of voters who used the mobile tool were ages 18-50, demonstrating it is an effective method to engage younger voters in the cure process. In addition, the convenience of the tool helped to increase the overall cure rate to 34.5 percent of challenged ballots, compared to 27.7 percent cured in the 2016 Primary. Arapahoe County will use the tool again for the Nov. 6 General Election.
To download a photo of the Eagle Award, please visit our FTP site.