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District to Send Ballot to Every Voter for Upcoming Presidential Election

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The DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) is preparing to mail ballots to every registered voter for November’s presidential election.

Before DC’s June 2 primary, the DCBOE failed to deliver ballots to some voters.

“The DCBOE’s underlying assumption was that the absentee ballot process could scale to manage a significantly greater volume. However, the IT systems supporting the processes were overwhelmed,” the agency said in a recently released report.

“The technology systems we used to process the over 92,000 absentee requests had previously processed less than one quarter of the volume of requests received for the June election. Our Election Management Voter Registration System, ‘Integrity,’ was stretched beyond its previous capacity as well.”

There were also other issues, including the DCBOE being “severely under-resourced” and processing problems with the mobile phone app Vote4DC that was used by voters for requesting absentee ballots.

“We are in the process of identifying a reliable private mail house for an all-mail ballot operation for the November 2020 election,” the DCBOE said in the report.

Based on the lessons election officials learned during the June 2 Primary election, they are introducing necessary mechanisms to tackle possible challenges in the upcoming presidential election.

The DCBOE is expecting the voter turnout in November to shatter all previous records, twice as big as the June election turnout, which was the highest in more than a decade.

As part of its measures, the agency will mail a ballot to every registered voter in DC using a private mail house for distribution and open 40 Vote Centers seven days ahead of Election Day for early voting and voting on Election Day.

It will also identify areas where more Vote Centers may be needed, hire additional IT and other staff at DCBOE, find experienced poll workers for the Vote Centers during the Early Voting period and heavily message to voters about voting locations and early voting.

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