|Posted:||December 6, 2022 03:55 PM|
|From:||Representative Regina G. Young|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Let Voters Fix Their Signatures|
|Signatures vary over time. This is a simple fact that has profound consequences for eligible voters in our state. All residents can safely and securely vote by mail, but county boards of elections can reject a ballot if the signature on file does not match the signature present on the ballot. While our election officials have done a commendable job in the administration of our elections, they are not trained hand-writing experts. As such, a signature mismatch should not constitute reasonable grounds for disenfranchisement.
Instead, voters should have the opportunity to prove their identity and affirm their signature. I plan to introduce legislation that would require county boards of elections to notify voters if their ballot signature does not match their signature on file. Boards must further direct voters to provide proof of their identity and an affirmation that they are the same individual who personally completed a mail-in or absentee ballot.
The current practice of immediately rejecting ballots over a signature discrepancy only serves to silence the will of the people. As elected officials, we cannot allow this to happen – it is our solemn duty to make their voices heard. We must ensure that all eligible voters participate in our elections and trust that their ballot is counted, even if their signature has changed over the years. By offering the sensible solution outlined under this bill, we can make that happen. Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Your consideration is greatly appreciated.
Introduced as HB490