As voting ramps up across the country, many are aggravated upon finding out that their state participates in signature-match rules. Florida is one such state, and the law results in headaches for many.
As reported by Mother Jones:
‘In a state with razor tight races for governor, US Senate, and many House of Representatives seats, absentee ballots rejected over signature issues could prove greater than the candidates’ margins of victory.’
Unfortunately, the party experiencing this issue is broadly on the Democratic side. which consists largely of young and minority voters. In addition, Daniel Smith, who heads the political science department at the University of Florida, states that there is no standard behind signature-match and also no experts in the area. Signature-match ballots are determined by a three-member canvassing board; three members per each of Florida’s 67 total counties.
Out of 15,765 absentee ballots, 12,261 had no signature where 3,504 had a different issue, including mismatches. You can check out what exactly the Florida statute states about exact-match when it pertains to signature-matching here.
Looking more into the issues surrounding absentee ballots and signature-match laws, one cannot help but feel that there is a level of discrimination at play, as well.
‘Ironically, absentee ballot racial disparities seemed to worsen after the notification requirement went into place in October 2016. Rather than lower overall rejection rates, Smith found young and minority voters were more likely to have their ballot rejected under the new regime.
‘White voters, however, were even less likely to have their absentee ballot rejected. The reason isn’t entirely clear, but one possibility is that minority and younger voters are concentrated in larger counties without the resources to do aggressive outreach.’
So far more than 15,000 #Florida absentee ballots have been rejected because the signature on the ballot and signature on the voter registration are not an exact match. Contact the elections department to check the status of your absentee ballot. Make sure your vote counts. pic.twitter.com/1aIyi4Kl37
— Analeen “Annie” Martinez (@analeenmartinez) November 5, 2018
The biggest issue here is that people voting don’t know whether or not their vote has been counted. If you’re in Florida and have any concerns, click here where you can check your voter registration status, find a polling place, and check the status of your request for a vote-by-mail ballot.
Featured image via YouTube.