We’re Suing California Because It Threw Out More Than 45,000 Ballots in the 2016 Presidential Election Over Handwriting ‘Mismatches’

In last year’s presidential election, 45,000 California voters were unknowingly disenfranchised. Their right to vote wasn’t curtailed because anyone questioned their eligibility or registration. They weren’t late sending in their ballot. They weren’t accused of doing anything wrong.

Rather their vote didn’t count because an election official thought the voter’s signature on the mail-in ballot envelope didn’t match the voter’s signature on file. Officials make this determination without expertise in handwriting analysis.

What’s worse, the county elections officials are not required to notify voters before their ballots are rejected; many voters don’t find out that their vote was not counted until after the election is over and the final vote tally announced, if at all.

If you think that’s a recipe for widespread voter disenfranchisement, you’re correct. And the reason is simple: handwriting varies.

Signatures may have variations for a number of reasons. Signatures can change over time or with a change in the writer’s physical condition. Signatures may vary depending on whether the writer is standing or sitting and what instrument or surface they use to sign. Many voters do not have a consistent signature style and may simply not know that they are supposed to sign their ballot in the same way that they signed their registration.

Unfortunately, if we don't make changes, it’s only going to get worse. Last year, California passed the Voter’s Choice Act. Under the law, all voters in participating counties will receive mail-in ballots beginning in 2018. In a state where more than half of all voters are already voting by mail, the law dramatically increases the likelihood that more residents will vote by mail. Giving more options to voters is a good thing. But under the current system, more voters will be exposed to the signature match requirement and possible disenfranchisement.

There’s more.

Because the state lacks uniform standards for comparing signatures, some counties have higher ballot rejection rates than others, as do certain demographic groups.

A voter whose native script is written right to left or in non-Latin characters may show more variation when signing their name in English. Minority groups are affected the most. Asian-Americans voters, Latino voters, and voters born outside of the United States are disproportionately disenfranchised by a perceived signature non-match.

The problem is also not limited to California. In May, the ACLU sued New Hampshire for throwing out our client Mary Saucedo’s ballot because, at 94 years old and legally blind, she could not sign a matching signature. States can correct this constitutional violation by, at a minimum, providing voters with notice that their signature may not match and an opportunity to explain or correct the discrepancy.

Each incorrectly rejected ballot denies a voter their fundamental right to have their vote counted. And as we well know, the disenfranchisement of comparatively few voters can sway elections. California should correct this dangerous practice of voter disenfranchisement immediately.

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Laurel Kaskurs

Here is some information about what happened during the CA Primary in San Diego County that might be helpful. There are photos in the comments that prove my allegations.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1303480886402022&id=100002203685961&ref=bookmarks

Anonymous

I'm tired of hearing that a Voter ID won't work because of the poor minorities can't afford an ID card,
Puerto Rico is a considered a poor US territory and they have a voter ID card
System working for years,so are many other so call poor countries.

Anonymous

WHY Did the ACLU do NOTHING about the DNC Election FRAUD in So Many States? See: DNC Fraud Lawsuit

Anonymous

I wouldn't worry that much abt it. He's toast in 2019. He's not going to make it to the next election and the BEST part abt it is that he's too stupid to do anything about it.
He's NEVER been Republican and why anyone thinks he is is beyond me.
I'd bet money he's not going to make it to the next election. That's how sure I am of it now.

Anonymous

Why Didin't the ACLU Help with the PRIMARY Rigging by DNC?
DNC Fraud Lawsuit.
https://www.facebook.com/DNCfraudlawsuit/?fref=ts

Fred Mata

This is a problem that only affects the people who come to polls to vote without the mail in ballot they receive at home to surrender. Now they become a provisonal voter. The comparison of a registered voters signature to the signature on the back of a provisional ballot wouldn't be an issue and knowing or not knowing if your vote was being counted would't be a thought that would cross their mind if they were to just follow the instructions given them when they receive their mail in ballot. If they want to come in and vote at polls all they have to do is bring the mail in ballot they signed up to receive at home and surrender it to a poll worker so that they can receive the same ballot again to vote but everyone can now be comfortable knowing that there's 1 ballot no one will be able to use to vote twice with!!

Fred

It isnt just provisonal ballots that signature match problems can occur. When you come in to vote at polls and sign in that signature will be compared with the signature the Registrars Office has on file for you. The signature on the back of the mail in ballot is also compared to Registrars Office Records.

http://www.voteinfo.net/docs/Ballot_Flow_Chart%2010-9.pdf

Jim

The arbitrary nature of this ensures that it will be used in a corrupt way. As we've seen, any system that lends itself to corruption will be completely corrupted in very quick order. If it was done by a "signature matching robot" that might be different, but fully expect people to throw out ballots they think they might not like the contents of. It has happened before, and it's happening now.

Anonymous

George, if you don't see a problem with someone making a determination as potentially unconstitutional as this, then you neither respect this country or what it stands for.
You must be a republican

James

Where was the ACLU during the primary debacle of 2016? The cheating and Nixonian dirty tricks by establishment Democrats started in Iowa and reached several low points, notably in Puerto Rico (where 80% of polling stations were closed last minute to stem a groundswell for Sanders), and continued into CA where poll workers were trained to break the law, improperly gave provisional ballots to NPP voters, resulting in millions of Bernie votes being trashed (Registered NPP voters, 24% of CA voters, were projected to go for Sanders by up to 70% to 30%. Most of their votes were never counted) EJUSA outlines 6 separate tactics used to successfully suppress the NPP vote.
This is just a portion of what is *currently known* about the corruption of the primary. The fraud and voter switches/purges went way beyond the dirty dealings of the DNC. Local cronies knew what was expected without being told explicitly.

And where was the voice of the ACLU and others persons and institutions duty bound to protect the most basic rights of US voters? Where? Thunderous silence and signifying sycophantic complicity. I highly doubt that the ACLU will ever re-earn the trust and credibility that you for decades held for me personally. Your selective outrage over the general election shenanigans of the GOP rings hollow with the shameful tones hypocrisy. Clearly you thought being loyal shills could keep Trump out of the White House. You were wrong.

If you want a well written but partial accounting of the events alluded to above see "Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally
Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries" by Election Justice USA, an organization that, unlike the ACLU, can count on my continued and future support and respect.

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