Okay, so where is my absentee ballot? The Virginia Board of Elections tracking system is falling down. This does not inspire confidence and needs to be fixed.
I had the application in well in advance. The ballot was mailed on the first day, a Friday, and our local Postal Service delivery lady worked long hours on Saturday to get them delivered. I assume the absentee ballots were the reason mail was delivered at 8 p.m. that day. Thank you, Ma’am.
I had it back in the mail Monday morning and as you can see above, the tracking service had it on its way to the Henrico Board of Elections by Tuesday, September 22. But the tracking has not been updated since that time. I’ve given it a week.
UPDATE: It turns out there are two trackers, and the other one (here) does show my ballot as received by the county Sept. 23. That is the tracker I remember from before. So now the mystery is, why the second one? And why is it not updated when the other one is? The confusion this might create could be substantial. The person who sent me the link to the correct tracker reported a similar problem on the newer one for his own ballot.
The second process is being run by an outside vendor, Ballot Scout, and I don’t know when that started. Last June I cast a mail absentee (as a poll worker away from my home precinct I had that legitimate reason) and the tracking was prompt. It will need to be prompt this time if you want confidence in Virginia’s results. Another little wrinkle on this that should raise eyebrows — anybody can check the status of anybody else’s mail absentee on the second one, if you have their first and last name and the address. Huh? Anybody can see in real time if I’ve requested and mailed a ballot or not?