NC State Board of Elections makes correct call for voters in rejecting discriminatory ‘signature-match’ request
RALEIGH – Today, the North Carolina State Board of Elections rejected a request by the NC Republican Party to have county boards of elections engage in an error-prone “signature-match” process that could result in legitimate absentee ballots being unfairly thrown out.
The following statement is from Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina:
“The NC Republican Party’s request that county boards of elections engage in an error-prone ‘signature-match’ process could result in legitimate absentee ballots being unfairly thrown out. The State Board of Elections was right to reject this unwise request since it would have especially hurt older voters and disabled North Carolinians, whose handwriting may have changed since they registered to vote years ago.
North Carolina already has a reliable system for voting absentee. Under current law, voters must have two witnesses – or a notary public – confirm their identity when casting a ballot by mail. Our state’s process for voting absentee is secure and it’s proven to work.
But now the NC Republican Party wants to change that by placing an unfair burden on the growing number of North Carolinians who opt to vote absentee by mail. This unnecessary ‘signature-match’ process would give county boards of elections the ability to look at someone’s signature on their voter registration form – possibly filled out decades before – and compare it to the voter’s current signature on their absentee ballot. That would leave it to human error and unequal standards to decide which ballots should count.
The push by the NC Republican Party to impose a deeply flawed ‘signature-match’ process would be a strain on North Carolina voters and election administrators, while doing nothing to strengthen our voting system. The State Board of Elections made the correct call for voters by denying this request.”
The decision comes following a two-week public comment period during which thousands of North Carolinians asked the State Board to deny the NCGOP request for subjective signature checks that would imperil legitimate absentee ballots.
Common Cause NC is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy.