The "Undeliverable" Voter Status
Your "Voter List and Status" page of your running election is your toolbox for efficiently managing your election. On your list, you may see "Undeliverable" voters. The purpose of this article is to help explain what is happening with your "Undeliverable"-status voters, and what you, as the election administrator, can do to fix it.
The notices that show up as "Undeliverable" in your voter list are the notices that Electionbuddy attempted to send, but did not reach the intended voter. They are more commonly known as "bounce-backs".
Here are the most common causes of an undeliverable notice:
- an incorrect email address (or phone number/mailing address, if you are using SMS/postal notices),
- an out-of-use email address,
- a spam filter, or
- the recipient's inbox is too full to receive the message.
We provide the complete bounce-back message received for you for each undeliverable email notice, which you are able to review in your voter list. The message is interpreted by Electionbuddy: it locates the bounce code within the text of the email, and then gives you a simplified explanation of what has happened. You can find this message in the "Undeliverable History":
Clicking on "Undeliverable History" in the drop-down "Actions" menu will open up a window, where the bounce-back message(s) for that voter will be displayed:
In this example, we are getting a "Delivery time expired" message because (in case you haven't guessed) the email address is fake, and Electionbuddy could not deliver the message, so Electionbuddy's attempts to re-send timed out.
You can take that information and use it to attempt to fix the problem:
- If it was an incorrect or out-of-date email address (i.e. the email address, as entered, does not exist), and you correct it, then Electionbuddy will attempt to send the notice again. This would be the solution for the error in the example above.
- If the message was blocked by a spam filter, you can ask your voter to add firstname.lastname@example.org to their contact list, and try re-sending the notice.
- If the message was rejected because your voter's inbox is too full, ask them to clear their inbox, and try re-sending the notice.
Something important to note:
Electionbuddy only classifies a voter's notice as "Undeliverable" if there was a bounce-back message received. It is possible that your voters will let you know that they did not receive a notice, but the voter list does not reflect this with the "Undeliverable" status for that voter. This would mean that Electionbuddy did not receive a bounce-back message, and it is extremely difficult to gauge what happened to the notice in those cases. For example, your voter's email server may reject the email based on their spam policy, and neglect to inform Electionbuddy that the notice will not be delivered. If you are sure that the voter's contact information is correct and up-to-date, and they have confirmed that the notice has not gone to their spam/junk folder (so there is no obvious reason why your voter did not receive their email notice), you would need to surface and share your voter's access key with them. For guidance on surfacing and sharing your voters' access keys, please see our related article on that process.