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electionlineWeekly — May 12, 2016

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 VII. Tech Thursday

Iowa: According to the Quad-City Times, Scott County voters will be the first in Iowa to be able to utilize a new web-based tool to see and interact with sample ballots for the June 7 primary. The interactive sample ballots allow people to type in a name and date of birth to get the ballot that fits their part of the county. Voters then can pick their candidates and print out a ballot. Alternatively, they can download the ballot to a computer or mobile device. The ballot is a sample, and actual votes are still only cast at a polling place or via absentee ballots. But officials say this will help people see their choices and make selections before going to a polling place or voting with an absentee ballot.

Oregon: Hood River County, in partnership with the secretary of state’s office is offering new technology that will allow voters to track the delivery and receipt of their ballot for next week’s primary. According to Hood River News, BallotTrax, allows voters to sign up online to receive alert messages via text, phone or email. Voters will receive messages when their ballot is mailed out and when it is accepted for counting. “We are excited to offer this resource to voters in Hood River County,” Kim Kean, elections supervisor told the paper. There is no charge for the service, but message charges from carriers may apply.

Texas: Fort Bend County is offering a new feature on its website to help make election day voting easier. On voting day, when visitors to the county’s elections website click on the map of voting centers, each voting center will be pinned with a colored pin that will reflect the anticipated wait time at each location.