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As Mail-In Votes Rise, Kodak Alaris Debuts Envelope Scanner

The company’s new solution can scan mail-in ballot envelopes, check voter signatures against a database, reject ballots meant for another election and more. It comes amid rapid growth in mail-in voting.

Kodak Mail-in Ballot.JPG
gradyreese/Getty Images/iStockphoto
With mail-in voting now becoming commonplace across the U.S., Kodak Alaris has created a new solution meant to help speed up the processing of those ballots.

The solution, called the Kodak i4000 Series Scanner, is not used to count votes — rather, it scans the envelopes containing ballots, stamps them with a date, time and batch number, then compares the voter’s signature against a database. It can also automatically reject ballots meant for a different county or election.

In short, it’s meant to quickly perform work that would take much longer to do manually. Ultimately, that could lead to faster result reporting on election night and the days after. In some states with high amounts of mail-in ballots, such as California, the reporting of election results stretches on for weeks.

And mail voting, long embraced in some states, has become much more common since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Since the virus hit the U.S. in an election year, there was a rapid shift to mail voting across the country for the 2020 elections.
“Voting by mail has increased 40 percent since 1992, and many states have expanded eligibility and accelerated acceptance of mail-in ballots since the 2020 pandemic,” said Joseph Odore, product portfolio marketing manager at Kodak Alaris, in a press release. “Counties can now use this fast, reliable, and cost-effective solution to help them keep pace with this growing trend.”

There are now more than 3,000 counties with requirements to offer mail-in ballots, according to the statement.

The system includes software from Logicworks and uses Parascript to verify signatures.

Andrew Adams contributed a chart to this story.