Using an Automated Vote by Mail Ballot Extractor to Keep Staff Safe

You may already have a solution for vote-by-mail (VBM).  Your solution may include people sitting at tables pulling ballots from each individual envelope. You may have a ballot opener, but is your plan to have volunteers extract the ballots? That doesn’t sound like a fast, safe, or reliable plan. Maybe you haven't even thought about the need for a different solution to handle the potentially record-breaking number of vote by mail ballots this election.

One thing that is safe to say is that most US election officials will see an increase in the number of vote-by-mail ballots that will need to be processed in 2020. Have you planned for the increase? Will you need more people? If so, how many? Will you need more space? Will you need to ask some of these individuals to work the midnight shift so that that the job can be done safely and on-time? Who will be available to volunteer this year?

COVID-19 will not only keep voters at home, but also the individuals you typically rely on to count the votes they cast. So, is there a better option? Yes, automation. For your ballot opening needs, the next level of automation is called mail extraction equipment, or for our VBM community, a “ballot extractor.”

What is a ballot extractor?

It is a desk-like machine that automatically opens the top and side of the envelope and presents the contents of the envelope to the operator at a 45-degree angle for easy removal. Our ballot extractor uses milling cutting which offers a smaller cut depth that significantly reduces the potential of cutting contents.  Milling cutting also produces a soft feathered-edge, which lends itself well to additional operator comfort. Most automated operations with extractors see a 2x - 4x increase versus their manual opening rates.

 Fast ballot automation is crucial for a variety of reasons. By automating the process, you will:
  • Easily handle the increase in vote-by-mail 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.

Most state officials cannot predict the total amount of vote-by-mail ballots for this year’s election, but all signs point to numbers that will exceed previous years.  Are you prepared?

Our solution: Get ahead of the curve and invest in a ballot extractor while there is still time.

The Model 72 ballot extractor is designed by OPEX Corporation, a recognized global technology leader in high-speed mailroom automation and document imaging.

Contact us at here or call 856.727.1100 for further information and to arrange for a free workflow analysis.

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