Collier County Relies on Effective Ballot Opening Automation to Count All Mail-In Ballots by Election Day
Implementing Two OPEX® Model 72™ Automated Ballot Opener and Extractor Systems Helps to Speed Up Ballot Processing
Ballot opening is
Manual ballot processing and opening can lead to a time-crunch before the election deadlines
Space was limited for over
30 temporary employees to
This manual ballot opening process posed many challenges for Collier County SOE. Ballot opening was time-consuming and labor-intensive, which created a time-crunch for the county to count all ballots before the election day deadline without delay. A large amount of processing is required before the mail-in ballots are opened, making it crucial for the opening process to go smoothly to prevent any more time from being lost. Faced with these challenges, the Collier County SOE wanted to implement a better solution for inbound mail that not only improved the efficiency of how ballots are processed, but would also cut costs for taxpayers by reducing the overall cost of vote-by-mail ballot processing.
“It was important for us to have a solution that continued to support the integrity of our elections while saving costs for our taxpayers.”
Vote-by-Mail Director, Collier County SOE
“If anything goes wrong with the equipment, our OPEX® service tech is there within 24 hours to help fix the problem.”
Vote-by-Mail Supervisor, Collier County SOE
After implementing the OPEX ballot opening solution, Collier County SOE was able to reduce its staff by 93%. Originally, Collier County SOE needed around 30 temporary employees working overtime to count all ballots on time. Now, they only need two full-time employees who can open and extract all the ballots using the OPEX equipment within standard working hours. Ballot extraction and layouts can be done simultaneously, significantly speeding up the tabulation process. During the 2022 November election, Collier County SOE counted a total of 60,154 mail-in ballots that needed to be carefully opened by two employees. Each employee can open an average of 8,000 ballots per day, totaling an average of 16,000 ballots a day opened by the SOE. During the 2020 general election, Collier County opened a total of 103,006 vote-by-mail ballots. In two and a half days alone during the 2020 general election, Collier County was able to open around 50,000 ballots.
Staff Members needed to open and extract all ballots
days needed to count 50% pf the ballots received
ballots counted during the 2022 november election
In anticipation for the 2024 election, Collier County is predicting that the number of mail-in ballots it receives will continue to grow as voting-by-mail continues to be popular with Florida residents. With an effective and reliable automation solution in place, Collier County SOE can continue to effectively open and count all ballots on time before the deadline of each election, saving taxpayers from unnecessary expenditures in all future elections.
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