Republicans Want to Keep You From Voting. But You Can Stop Them!
The NC State Board of Elections has opened a public comment period for a request by the NC Republican Party for the State Board to authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee ballot request forms and return envelopes. Why? To determine whether or not to count those ballots in North Carolina elections.
Republicans appear to want this new rule to provide a means for local election board members to nullify the votes of people with whom they disagree. North Carolina already has a fair, reliable, and secure means of verifying an absentee voter's identity: Absentee ballots must be signed by two witnesses or a notary. The Republican request seeks an additional layer of verification for absentee voters that is both unnecessary and subjective. Those with handwriting difficulties, such as the elderly and disabled, will be disproportionately affected. A deeply flawed "signature-match" rule will also place an undue burden on voters and election administrators while doing nothing to strengthen our voting system.
The Republican Party's request should be rejected by the State Board of Elections.
The public comment period will be open through Tuesday, July 5. Members of the public may comment in the following ways:
When writing your comment, please consider there is research confirming that aging is among the factors that affects handwriting. If you registered to vote decades ago and now have conditions such as arthritis or nerve damage, it's likely your handwriting has changed. Signature verification will disproportionately disenfranchise the elderly and the disabled.
Comment Guidance from the North Carolina Democratic Party:
Key Points to Make
There is no statute that requires or suggests signature matching.
Two verifying witnesses or a notary public are already required to sign absentee ballot
container return envelopes to confirm the voter's identity in addition to voters signing
themselves. This is how North Carolina has chosen to prevent fraud and it has been effective.
Key Things to Include
Write comments in your own words.
Submit the comment with your name rather than anonymously.
State what county you’re from, if you are a registered voter, and if you hold a title at a relevant organization.
Submit separate comments rather than signing onto group comments.
If you are an expert on this issue or have experience on this issue, please make that clear.
If you work or have worked with these issues, please state how long and in what capacity.
If you are a concerned individual, explain why you think our Country's values are implicated by this process.
If you use research or supporting documents, attach them.
Do not suggest language for a ruling.
Remember, the deadline for comment is July 5. Contact the State Board of Elections Today.