Pitney Bowes Vote-by-Mail Solutions Deliver High Returns in Presidential Election
STAMFORD, Conn., March 17, 2009 - Amid resurgent voter turnout nationwide for the presidential election last November, the Pitney Bowes ReliaVote™ Mail Balloting System delivered outstanding performance in eighteen counties across five states from Washington to Florida, the company said today.
Final reports from Pitney Bowes customers indicate that more than 4.2 million ballots were processed with the help of the ReliaVote™ Mail Balloting System. As voters have increasingly turned to mail ballots to record their votes for candidates, local election administrators have turned to Pitney Bowes for help improving the speed, accuracy and efficiency with which they handle the additional volume of election mail.
“Voting by mail continues to grow, and with good reason,” said Murray Martin, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes. “Absentee ballots offer a secure, convenient and unhurried way for voters to consider and make their civic choices.”
Pitney Bowes’s experience in the 2008 election demonstrated the value of mail balloting to voters. In many counties using a ReliaVote™ Mail Balloting System, mail-in voters participated at higher rates than in-person voters, and in some counties the difference was as much as 20 percentage points in favor of mail balloting.
The Relia-Vote™ Mail Balloting System uses a combination of Pitney Bowes hardware and software to match the right ballot to the right voter at the right time as quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. After ballots are placed in the mail to voters, election officials can work with the United States Postal Service to track the progress of each ballot through the mail to the voter.
Upon receipt of the completed ballots, the system uses high speed scanners to record a photo image of the signed envelope. Election officials can compare this signature to the one they have in the county’s voter registration system to validate the integrity of each ballot before the envelope is opened for counting. The system also sorts ballot envelopes into precincts to facilitate the counting and auditing of paper ballots. By using the Relia-Vote™ Mail Balloting System, counties automate a number of processes that can otherwise be expensive, labor-intensive and prone to error.
The performance of the ReliaVote™ Mail Balloting System was set against the backdrop of continued challenges Americans face with in-person balloting nationwide. A recent report from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that approximately 4-5 million people attempted to vote in the November election, but could not or did not. Many of these registered non-voters cited administrative or other barriers as a primary reason they skipped the polls.
Among the reasons these Americans said they chose not to vote: bad weather, a lack of transportation, being sick or disabled, not knowing where to vote, or facing a long line at the polls. Absentee balloting would have overcome any of the challenges named by these voters.
“The 2008 election was arguably the most important election in a generation, and had many extremely close races across the country” Martin said. “It seems contrary to our national principles that so many voters felt they could not participate when an absentee ballot would have enabled them to do so easily. We hope more counties and states continue to promote absentee balloting as a way to expand the voting franchise accurately and efficiently to as many Americans as possible.”
About Pitney Bowes:
Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organizations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $6.3 billion. More information is available at www.pb.com.