Vote-by-Mail (VBM) is increasingly becoming a popular solution as municipalities across the nation look to ensure the safety of voters and abide by today’s social distancing standards. As the country shifts towards a mail-in-ballot system, efficient ballot extraction technology is vital.
You may already have an automated solution for VBM, but your solution may include people sitting at tables pulling ballots from each individual envelope. You may have an automated ballot opener, but is your plan for volunteers to extract the ballots? That doesn’t sound like a fast, safe, or reliable strategy. COVID-19 will not only keep voters at home, but also the individuals you typically rely on to count the votes that are cast. So, is there a better option? Yes, automation. For your ballot opening needs, the next level of automation is mail extraction equipment, or for our VBM community, a “ballot extractor.”
What is a ballot extractor?
A ballot extractor is a desk-like machine that automatically opens the top and side of the envelope and presents the contents to the operator at a 45-degree angle for easy removal. OPEX®’s ballot extractor uses milling cutting technology which offers a smaller cut depth that significantly reduces the risk of damaging the contents. Milling cutting also produces a soft feathered edge, which lends itself well to operator comfort. Fast ballot automation is crucial for a variety of reasons. By automating the process, you will:
- Easily handle the increase in VBM envelope volumes;
- Reduce the number of workers dedicated to this specific task; and
- Provide your employees and volunteers a safe environment that adheres to social distancing guidelines.
OPEX’s Vote-by-Mail Solution
OPEX® offers a cost-effective and efficient mail extraction technology. OPEX’s industry-leading opening and extraction machines are designed to improve throughput, while significantly reducing the amount of labor needed. These unique solutions can easily be implemented to combat the inevitable surge of vote-by-mail systems during this health crisis.
States that use OPEX® machinery for their ballot opening and extraction notice significant increases in productivity, such as extraction rates of over 2,000 ballots per hour. In Colorado County Election facilities, the speed and accuracy of the Model 72™ envelope opener reduced the staffing needs by 50%, while maintaining the same level of throughput in past elections, while still providing election results on time.
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