Urgent: Speak Out Against Signature-Matching Protocol for Absentee Ballots

Updated: 3 days ago


From the League of Women Voters:


The NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) has opened a public comment period in response to a Request for Declaratory Ruling proposed by the NC Republican Party. The proposed Declaratory Ruling would allow individual members of county boards of elections to verify signatures on absentee ballots. The public comment period closes on July 5, 2022.


The proposal would authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee ballot request forms and absentee ballot return envelopes, to determine whether to count those ballots in North Carolina elections. This could overrule the authority of the NCSBE to require uniform ballot review methods across all counties so that all voters, regardless of residency, have an equal right to have their vote count. In short, disparate voting standards could be implemented for voters across the state, as individual county board members could be allowed to determine whether a voter’s signature on an absentee ballot container envelope or request form matched their signature on file.


A hearing is scheduled for July and then this will make its way through the courts – with the goal of this being implemented in time for the November midterms.


This is urgent – all public comments must be submitted by July 5. We need thousands of North Carolina voters to push back on this proposed change using the NCSBE comment portal.


North Carolinians are voting in record numbers – they have faith in their elections and in the officials who work so diligently to count our votes. This Request will undermine that faith.


Please voice your personal concerns about the very real prospect that your ballot could be thrown out under a signature-matching protocol. If you changed your name since you registered to vote, if you have developed a medical condition that affects your signature, or if you first registered to vote in our state many years ago, your current signature may look different than your signature on file. Many League members have served as precinct officials and attended Board of Election meetings. Please share your experience when you submit your public comments and tout your confidence in our current election process and in the hard-working people who manage the voting process, review all ballots, and ultimately count North Carolina’s votes.


Once you have submitted your comments, which may take as little as three minutes, please spread the word about this to others! Post to social media, tell your friends, and write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in which you urge your neighbors to make their voices heard by using the comment portal.