Congress Considers Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Mail-In Ballot Transparency

The Vote by Mail Tracking Act would improve efficiency and transparency, allowing voters to see their vote delivered and maintaining confidence in our elections.

Reps. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), and Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) re-introduced the bipartisan Vote by Mail Tracking Act (H.R. 5658) to increase the transparency of and confidence in mail-in ballots.

This bipartisan bill would require mail-in ballots to include USPS tracking barcodes, meet USPS design requirements and standards, and include an Official Election Mail logo.

Tracking mail-in ballots benefits both voters and local election officials. County election officials are responsible for preparing, mailing, and processing all election mail. The ability to track these mailings would enhance the services counties can provide voters and increase confidence in vote-by-mail systems in general.

According to the National Association of Counties (NACo):


Counties support a domestic and international mail system that supports our election system and ensures that all voters can fairly and freely participate in our elections. Such a system would include high quality delivery methods, tracking and notice of changes in the system to impacted local governments.

Most county election offices have measures in place that satisfy the requirements of this legislation. In cases where a county does not, implementation could require additional staff time and resources.

Counties would encourage the USPS to coordinate with state and local election officials when implementing the reforms in this bill.

An essential function of Maryland’s county governments is to fund and oversee elections. At the MACo Winter Conference session, “2024 Elections and Beyond…,’ an expert panel will look ahead to the 2024 election and beyond, including strategies and potential policy changes to ensure fair, open, safe, and transparent elections.

The 2023 MACo Winter Conference is December 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: