A nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, the National Vote at Home Institute is dedicated to ensuring the security of our elections and putting voters' needs first.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Vote at home is a growing trend across red, blue and purple states because it is a time-tested and proven way to bolster the security of elections, improve voter engagement, and reduce election-related costs.
Amber McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts on election administration and policy, and co-author of the book “When Women Vote”. Amber is the CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition and is the former Director of Elections for Denver, Colorado. During her time there, she transformed the elections division into a national and international award-winning office. She has proven that designing pro-voter policies, voter-centric processes, and implementing technical innovations will improve representation for all voters.
Amber serves on the National Election Task Force on Election Crises, as an advisory board member for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Election and Data Science Lab, a board member for Lift Colorado, a board member for Represent Women, and serves on various advisory boards for other national organizations focused on improving election administration. Among other accolades, Amber was also named by Governing Magazine as a 2018 Top Public Official of the Year for her work. Amber holds a Masters of Science degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communications from the University of Illinois.
- Audrey Kline, National Policy Director Audrey is a Colorado native who grew up in the northwestern suburbs of Denver, which is still one of the most politically “purple” areas in the country. She earned a BA in Political Science at Metropolitan State College of Denver and went on to spend nearly three years working in the Colorado State Senate. She then was hired as Political Director for Colorado’s AFL-CIO Denver central labor council, eventually moving on to larger local and Federal campaigns and private consulting. After the 2016 election, she switched her focus from partisan campaigns to nonprofit and nonpartisan leadership development where she has worked in over 30 states and federally focusing on campaign finance and elections compliance. Audrey is passionate about civic engagement and good governance and is excited to share her home state’s groundbreaking voting model with the rest of the nation.
- Lucille Wenegieme, Director of Communications & Public Relations Lucille is a digital communications professional with backgrounds in political advocacy, fashion, and biomedical science. Her interdisciplinary approach to work and life is her greatest asset, and she brings 360-degree consideration to her impact-driven clients on the issues that matter most. While the bulk of Lucille's work is done in front of a computer screen leading social media strategy, content creation, and online community development, she can also be found out in the world training teams, producing events, and moderating tough conversations with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others. Prior to joining the team, Lucille honed her digital skills with longstanding Colorado communications firm Progressive Promotions and global luxury retail giant Coach, Inc. Her tenure on the board of Emerge Colorado and her ongoing work on the board of TedxMileHigh put her in community with the state's titans of industry as well as its most dedicated public servants.
- Gerry Langeler, Director of Research Gerry is responsible for ensuring that Vote at Home serves as a comprehensive resource about the benefits of a vote-at-home system, providing materials policymakers and elections officials can use to make informed choices, and advocates can use to educate their audiences. Previously, for more than 25 years, Gerry served as the Managing Director for OVP Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, and in that role he served on over 20 for-profit boards. Prior to that, he was co-founder and President of Mentor Graphics, one of the most successful software firms founded in the 1980's. He also has served as Chair of his local school Board, and as Chair of the Oregon Facilities Authority, providing tax efficient loans for low income housing, Guide Dogs for the Blind and other community beneficial projects. An author of two books, he holds a MBA from Harvard and a BA from Cornell.
- Dylan Anderson, Chief Financial Officer Dylan serves as CFO for Vote at Home. As an executive with 25+ years in the field, Dylan has led multiple strategic functional areas of fast-growing organizations. He has been CFO of Urban Airship, Max-Viz, Chirpify, and Strands. Having worked in both public and private startup settings, Dylan has been a part of multiple IPO's and has helped drive over $127M in funding rounds of all stages. Dylan is a proud husband and father of 13-year old triplet girls and wants them to grow up in a proud democracy where all can vote simply and free.
- Allie Conklin, Executive Coordinator Allie Conklin (she/her) serves as Executive Coordinator for the National Vote at Home Institute. Allie adds a fresh and ever-evolving millennial perspective to the Vote at Home team. Her professional experience stems from an early background in customer service across a wide array of industries, ultimately leading her to executive planning and advocacy. As a Colorado resident, Allie has seen the tremendous positive impact of voting at home locally and fiercely believes voting should be simple, and secure for all citizens.
- Adam Buchholz, Research Fellow Adam is finishing his Masters of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He is a founder of the Environmental Justice Mapping Project and spent three years in the vital role of a public school teacher of physics, biology and math.
- Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State
- Kim Wyman, Washington Secretary of State
- Lori Augino, Elections Director, State of Washington
- Michelle Bishop, Voting Rights Specialist, National Disability Rights Network
- Nick Chedli-Carter, Managing Director, 2020 Vision Ventures
- Dana Chisnell, Co-Executive Director, Center for Civic Design
- Amy Cohen, Executive Director, National Association of State Elections Directors
- Brian Corley, Supervisor of Elections, Pasco County, FL
- Carolyn DeWitt, President & Executive Director, Rock the Vote
- Josh Douglas, Professor, University of Kentucky College of Law
- Tiana Epps-Johnson, Founder & Executive Director, Center for Technology and Civic Life
- Eric Fey, Director of Elections, St. Louis County, MO
- Bob Giles, Director, New Jersey Division of Elections
- Paul Gronke, Professor of Political Science, Reed College
- Leslie Hoffman, County Recorder, Yavapai County, AZ
- Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, CA
- Jake Matilsky, Director, Center for Secure and Modern Elections
- Brad Moorhouse, Operations Manager, K&H Printing
- Jennifer Morrell, Consultant, Democracy Fund
- Elena Nuñez, Director of State Operations, Common Cause
- Spencer Overton, President, Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies
- Dan Pabon, Vice President, Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs
- Tammy Patrick, Senior Advisor, Democracy Fund
- Manny Rouvelas, Partner, K&L Gates
- Josh Silver, Founder & Director, Represent Us
- Charles Stewart III, Professor of Political Science, MIT
- Phil Keisling, Board Chair Phil Keisling has had a long career of public service, including serving as Oregon's secretary of state from 1991-99 and in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1989-91. He oversaw Oregon's first-in-the-nation move to full vote at home ballot delivery. He founded the National Vote at Home organization in 2017. Phil recently retired from his position as the director of the Center for Public Service at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.
- Jennifer Granholm Former two-term governor of Michigan Jennifer M. Granholm led Michigan through a period of unprecedented economic challenge and change. Granholm became the first woman to be elected as governor of Michigan in 2002, and in 2006 she was re-elected with what was at the time the largest number of votes ever cast for governor in the state. She was term-limited in 2011. Prior to being elected governor, Granholm was the Michigan Attorney General from 1998-2002. After leaving public office, Granholm joined the faculty at UC Berkeley, teaching courses in law and public policy, and is a Senior Research Fellow at both the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, and the California Institute on Energy and the Environment.
- Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is Director, Retirement Security at the Economic Policy Institute. She founded the Center for Retirement Security at Georgetown University where she is a Research Professor. She was Chair of the Task Force that created the Secure Choice legislation in Maryland and now serves on the Board of “ Maryland Saves”, implementing that legislation. She has served with distinction in both the private and public arenas. She was Maryland’s first woman Lt. Governor and served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Prior to serving at the Department of Justice, Ms. Townsend led the fight to make Maryland the first—and only—state to make service a high school graduation requirement.
- Kristin Strohm Kristin Strohm is President & CEO of Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR), a non-profit free-enterprise think tank dedicated to the protection and promotion of the economy. Strohm also serves as Board Chair of the Starboard Group, which she co-founded and is widely regarded as one of the most influential fundraising consulting firms in the West. In 2018, Kristin was honored by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Colorado. She has also been awarded Denver Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award and the Ally Award from the pro-LGTBQ organization One Colorado in recognition of her advocacy for gay rights among Republicans.
- Steve Silberstein Stephen M. Silberstein founded (in 1978), and served as the first President of, Innovative Interfaces Inc., the world's leading supplier of computer software for the automation of college and city libraries. Steve now devotes his time to philanthropic and civic matters. He serves on the board of the Marin County Employees' Retirement Association and National Popular Vote. Steve is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley with a B.A. in economics and a Master's degree in library science. He has also earned a Master's degree in econometrics from the University of Stockholm in Sweden.
- Brian Renfroe Brian Renfroe was appointed NALC executive vice president by NALC President Fredric Rolando in December 2016. Renfroe had been elected NALC director of city delivery in 2014 by acclamation during the union’s 69th Biennial Convention in Philadelphia.
- Seth Flaxman Seth is the CEO and Co-Founder of Democracy Works, a nonprofit improving civic engagement by modernizing the voter experience. He has been recognized as a Draper Richards Kaplan entrepreneur, Ashoka Fellow, and Bluhm Helfand Social Innovation Fellow for his accomplishments as a civic technology leader and social entrepreneur.
How is voting at home more secure than traditional elections?
Today’s election systems that include in-person voting options, which rely heavily on electronic voting machines present security challenges. In contrast, vote at home primarily relies on paper ballots, which enhances security and leaves a clear paper trail to help ensure the sanctity of election results. Many so-called secure computer systems that we depend on have been breached, and hackers are constantly innovating to expose new vulnerabilities. This ongoing cyber arms race can be won by primarily relying on time-tested paper ballots, counted and audited in a central location, with layers of checks and balances. In a vote-at-home system, envelopes are barcoded to match each individual voter and are sent securely through the U.S. Postal Service. Ballots are not forwarded if voters have moved without updating their registration information. Voter rolls are compared to constantly updated address databases. Envelopes containing ballots are returned with signatures that must be verified against the voter registration file –- after and if the signature is verified, the ballot is extracted from the envelope and the ballot proceeds to the counting process ensuring the secret ballot. These protections greatly reduce the possibility of voter fraud.
How is voting at home more secure than other types of elections?
Election systems that rely primarily on electronic voting machines in each precinct present security challenges. In contrast, vote at home primarily relies on paper ballots, which leave a clear paper trail and can be counted and audited at a central location with layers of checks and balances. In a vote-at-home system, envelopes are barcoded to match each individual voter and are sent to voters securely through the U.S. Postal Service. Ballots are not forwarded if voters have moved without updating their registration information. Voter rolls are compared to constantly updated address databases. Envelopes containing ballots are returned with signatures that must be verified against the voter registration file. After the signature is verified, the ballot is extracted from the envelope and the ballot proceeds to the counting process, ensuring secrecy. These protections greatly reduce the possibility of voter fraud or security breaches.
How does vote at home save money for states and localities?
Despite extra layers of meticulous security, states and localities with a comprehensive vote-at-home systems spend significantly less because of the reduced need for equipment and poll workers in each precinct. Colorado, which has the nation’s most comprehensive vote-at-home system, showed a savings of more than $6 or 40 percent per voter, according to a study by The Pew Research Center.
Why is vote at home more convenient?
Vote at home is designed specifically around voters’ needs. In a vote-at-home system, voters don’t have to take time off work, drive to a polling place or stand in long lines. Voters can spend as long as they want reviewing their ballot at home and researching their options. They don’t need to feel rushed, especially when ballots are long and complex and their lives are increasingly packed with competing demands. Voters with limited mobility or who lack transportation access don’t need to figure out how to get to the polling place.
How do people with disabilities that prevent them from completing a paper ballot or Americans living abroad vote in a comprehensive vote-at-home system?
For those who are unable to vote via paper ballots, a comprehensive vote-at-home system can adapt current best practices used for members of the military and other Americans living overseas. These have proven to be secure and will work well in these limited circumstances.
Does vote at home require voters to return their ballot by mail?
In a comprehensive vote-at-home system, voters primarily receive their ballots by mail but they can choose how to cast their vote. Voters can return their ballot by mail, take it to a secure drop-off location, or vote at a fully staffed vote center – it’s their choice. Voters who prefer the experience of casting their ballot in person can choose that option. Those with special needs requiring in-person attention, need to replace a lost or damaged ballot, or to update their registration, can go to a staffed vote center.
What is the process to verify the validity of each cast ballot in a vote-at-home system?
Vote at home builds on the time-tested absentee voting process and adds more options and extra layers of checks and balances to ensure the integrity of elections and the validity of each ballot. These measures include: (1) Risk-limiting audits, which allow elections officials to double check the vote count. Vote at home's centralized ballot collection facilitates these audits, and (2) tracking services that follow individual ballots as they are processed through the mail system, both outbound to voters and as the ballots are returned.
In a vote-at-home system, every ballot cast goes through a signature verification process. Election officials compare the voter’s signature on the return envelope with the signature on the voter’s registration card.
What’s the difference between a comprehensive vote-at-home system and absentee ballots?
While both comprehensive vote-at-home systems and absentee voting use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver ballots, there are important differences. In comprehensive vote-at- home states, voters are automatically sent ballots by mail. Voters in these states can then choose if and how to cast their ballot (send it back by mail, take it to a secure drop-off location, or vote at a fully staffed voting center). Traditional “absentee” systems require voters to apply to receive a ballot by mail. State laws vary dramatically, which can make absentee ballots easier or harder to access and to return, depending on the state. See our state map to find out what your state offers.
How common is vote at home in the United States?
Vote at home has significant acceptance in red, blue and purple states, with strong advocates from both sides of the aisle. Nearly half of states have provisions allowing certain elections to be conducted entirely by mail and several states allow it for all elections. In 2016, 33 million Americans cast ballots that were mailed to them –- roughly a quarter of all votes that year, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. About 22 million of those votes came via traditional absentee ballots, and another 11 million were cast by voters living in states and counties with some form of vote at home. Since 2000, one quarter of a Billion mailed-out ballots have been cast nationally without significant issues.
How can I get more information?
Contact the National Vote at Home Institute at info@VoteAtHome.org.