Vote by Mail

Accelerate and simplify your election mail processing with solutions from Bell and Howell.

Preparing election packages and processing ballot return envelopes are among the most time-consuming and complex activities in a Vote by Mail process.

Leveraging our industry-leading products and expertise, Bell and Howell offers modular and scalable solutions across the mail lifecycle that address typical concerns with election processing.

Reduce processing time

Through automation, it is possible to achieve a throughput of up to 14,000 mailpieces per hour for inserting and up to 36,000 mail pieces per hour for sorting, while maintaining item-level tracking and multiple levels of verification. This reduces coordination and staging overheads. For incoming envelopes, this reduces the time from receipt to upload of data to your election management system.

Simplify training and staffing

By minimizing mail handling and improving throughput at multiple stages throughout the process—inserting, outgoing sorting, incoming sorting—you can greatly reduce temporary staffing, resulting in reduced training and staffing costs.

Item-level tracking

Bell and Howell’s solutions provide the simplest way to track the progress of envelopes throughout the mail lifecycle, from internal mail creation, to the voter and back through the USPS® and internal incoming envelope processing. Intelligent Mail® barcodes are supported as well. Data is available at an item level, with date and time information.

Improved handling of undeliverable and late mail

With Bell and Howell’s address quality products, it is possible to identify undeliverable addresses before mail production, allowing you to take preventive measures early. In addition, Undeliverable As Addressed mail and envelopes that arrive later than election day can be quickly processed on the sorter and assigned the appropriate challenge code, saving significant manual labor.

Prevent mismatched envelope packages

A high-integrity inserting solution from Bell and Howell will match and verify the ballot type to be used, based on the unique ID of each voter. Data will also be provided for end-to-end item-level tracking.

USPS discounts

Under current USPS® rates, counties that send out at least 150 mailpieces in each 5-digit ZIP Code can save up to 23% on First-Class Mail® postage costs if the mail is presorted.

Incoming verification

A key strength of the Vote by Mail solution from Bell and Howell is its unique ability to efficiently verify and out-sort incoming envelopes on the following parameters:

  • Signature match using integrated automated signature verification with configurable threshold levels
  • Thickness (for the correct number of inserts) and duplicates
  • Challenge codes for multiple error conditions
  • Precinct numbers
Some of the capabilities of the incoming solution:
  • Print a date and time stamp when the envelope is first processed on the sorter, increasing accountability without sacrificing throughput
  • Open verified envelopes while leaving envelopes that failed verification unopened, using a selective inline opener
  • Audit the verification process by checking the data by envelope ID. Each envelope is uniquely identified in the system, and all associated data is saved in the system database, by election
  • Ensure that the latest data is used for verification and sorting by integrating with your election management system. Bell and Howell will work with your election management software vendor to establish an efficient data exchange process

Additional sorter benefits

In addition to processing election mail, the sorter can also be used for other purposes, thereby improving the ROI and increasing the services that the owning department can offer to other county departments.

Bell and Howell can help you streamline your election mail processing by bringing together improvements in workflow, software and hardware.

Key benefits

  • Significantly reduces the time required to process outgoing and incoming election envelope packages
  • Simplifies training needs and reduce temporary staffing needs by minimizing mail handling
  • Provides item-level tracking throughout the process
  • Improves handling of undeliverable mail
  • Matches ballot type to individual voter and verifies during inserting
  • Qualifies for USPS® discounts by presorting election packages to be mailed to voters, while maintaining control over the mailing process
  • Efficiently and securely verifies envelopes using multiple parameters (including signature verification)
  • Dates and time stamps individual envelopes and selectively open envelopes in a single pass
  • Reviews and audits specific or random envelopes
  • Interfaces with your election management system