Officials cite heavy traffic for issues on California ballot tracking website

State News

A stack of vote-by-mail ballots sit in a box after being sorted at the San Francisco Department of Elections January 24, 2008 in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The office of the California Secretary of State cited heavy website traffic for issues reported by voters who were trying to sign up for the statewide ballot tracking tool on Tuesday morning.

On Twitter, the department announced an email sent to voters promoting “Where’s My Ballot?”, a tool that lets people sign up for emails, texts or phone calls to receive updates on the status of their ballots.

A number of people replied to the tweet reporting a broken link. The website appeared to work for some after reloading the page.

In response, the state secretary’s office said it was “aware that some voters are having intermittent issues reaching the site, likely due to heavy traffic” and that it was working with its vendor to address the problem.

At 11:46 a.m., the office said it has increased site capacity and asked people to visit the website again.

Other Twitter users also said they were skeptical of the email because the link does not go to a “.gov” website. The state enlisted the company BallotTrax for the effort, and the link directs to the website

The Secretary of State’s office first launched the “Where’s My Ballot?” tool in February, ahead of the March 3 primary.

For the Nov. 3 election, all registered voters in California can expect to receive a mail ballot.

According to the California state department, voters will receive their ballots starting Oct. 5.

Ballots must be returned signed and sealed to a vote center, a polling place or a dropbox location by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Voters can also mail back their ballots as long as they are postmarked on or before Nov. 3, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office said.

In response to concerns about possible lapses of operations at the U.S. Postal Service, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has vowed to monitor any disruption.

“Voters deserve to know that their ballots will not be delayed,” Padilla said in a statement last week.

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