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Signature Verification at the Ballot Box
I am casually following Court events in AZ and just read this tweet from Charlie Kirk:
Powerful clip from Kari Lake’s attorney Kurt Olsen: “Maricopa’s log file data shows that 11 of these signature verification workers approved 170K signatures at a rate of between 0 and 2.99 seconds with a 99.97% approval rating. That’s not signature review, your Honor.”
For the past several elections I have asked poll workers the following question and never gotten an answer: What signature is my vote signature being compared to?
It’s also worthy of note that my voting sig is now done on a tablet with a stylus and looks like nothing I’ve ever done with a pen.
My tablet sig is my first initial and last name and is 100% illegible. Whenever I sign my name on a legal doc, it’s my full name with middle initial (and increasingly becoming illegible). I just checked my driver’s license, for some reason it’s very legible, but is just my first and last name, no middle initial.
Also worth pointing out is that my state has been so prolific in handing out DLs that soon it won’t be considered identification; in about a year, we’ll all be required to obtain a “real ID” (which I refuse to get; I’ll travel domestically with my passport if needed)
For all I know, none of my votes have been counted due to the signature not matching.
But what’s it being matched to?Published in Domestic Policy
As I was reading your topic, I was wondering if someone in Schiff’s office is assigned to your case, so now you are followed not only by FBI and CIA but also Congressional oversight team for your failure to shut the feck up and be a good citizen.
Signature vetting – an important consideration now overlooked by banking industry and election officials.
The points you make regarding sigs and our ballots are all valid and should become topics that are addressed.
But then again, why?
There must be a law regarding human nature, similar to Murphy’s Law, that stipulates that when important established laws are ignored, then a new law or two must come about regarding the same issue, and which will also be ignored.
Here in Texas, the in-person verification is done with the ID and not the signature. The poll workers verify ID, your face, you current address before letting you sign the tablet.
For those not watching the AZ video, it shows a guy paging through signatures as fast as they appear on the screen. It seems like his verification was that was a mark/signature and not that it matched anything. The case will come down to what does it mean to “verify the signature”. Will it be the common definition of the words or what the Democommies want it to mean.
@rushbabe49 was on a signature verification team for mail-in ballots. She knows all about this, at least for the state of Oregon. :) :)
She’s in Washington.
There are two types of signature verification that happen when voting. I can speak with some authority on the first type (in-person voting) because I have worked for many years as an election judge. When you step up to vote you (in Guadalupe County Texas, but I assume other locations are similar) hand your photo ID to the clerk and check in using the tablet system. The clerk will use your TDL to look you up in the system, or, failing that, will search by your name. Assuming we find you, your contact information will be displayed on the tablet for your confirmation. The clerk is supposed to look at your ID and ensure that you look basically like the photo. They should also compare your signature on the tablet to the one on your ID. It is cursory at best assuming that everything came up correctly in the system. In other words, if I type in your DL# and you come up and the info matches your registration (name, address, birthday, etc.) and I look up and I see a woman that bears a passing resemblance to the photo and the signature isn’t wildly crazy then I am going to check you in. if you don’t match, then there will likely be a higher level of scrutiny. Often it means that I will be doing a provisional ballot anyway which has a totally different level of paperwork to accomplish.
If you are voting by mail (in Texas), then you have to request a mail-in ballot (assuming you are under 65 or not disabled) for each election. When you put in your application, you have to sign the request as well as provide your DL# or similar ID (Voter or State ID) with some exceptions allowed for not having any of these forms of ID. Either way, you have to sign the application. When you send in your ballot, the ballot envelope has a place for you to enter all of that information again and sign it. When the mail ballots are being cured by the clerks, they will review the ballot and match it to an application. They are supposed to match that signature to the signature on the application. The Maricopa lawsuit is about these votes by mail. Three seconds seems like no time at all to compare a signature, but, honestly, it is a fairly long amount of time. It’s a pattern recognition that you are doing with your brain and it happens almost instantly when you see that it matches. I suspect that most of the time the clerk clicks on accept on the screen (I think they use a scanned copy for these things, but I am not sure). The kicker would be that for questionable signatures that time will go way up…into the minutes as it should take multiple people to check such a signature. (cont)
I remember a story from the 20 election where a Maricopa clerk was saying that they are supposed to check a certain number of similarities in the signature to approve it, but they were so far behind that they kept being told to speed up and finally just to approve them all with no checking. How valid was that story? It was on the internet, so…who knows. At any rate, here is one report that I could find quickly. Report: Maricopa County Ignored 20-Point Ballot Signature Verification, Ultimately Tossed Signature Requirement – County Denies – Crime of the Century (crimeofthecentury2020.com)
If that report is true, it is bad, very bad, but is it? I haven’t heard more about it since then and I expect that I would, but then again, how would we know?
David, first thank you for your years of service regarding our election system and its processes.
I think you’re providing very good information for those ricochet members who now live in Texas.
In person, at the polling place, voting here in California was conducted exactly as you are specifying, right until they changed it all a few years ago.
Now the election officials look at you with suspicion if you show an ID. (“How racist of any citizen to think an ID should be part of the voting process!”)
So now you simply walk in, state that the polling place is yours, then are handed a ballot and then you vote.
I can’t remember if we got to sign in under our name in the voting/address book or not.
According to what Annefy has written, in Southern Calif the voter uses a stylus on a computer tablet of some sort. I don’t think our county has gone that far yet, up here in Northern Calif. Our county has been the last of only two counties that have been hold outs regarding changes.
At a point when our county finally had the money to get more modernized voting machinery, Diane Findley, who served as the top voting official in the county, refused it because the old equipment we had lamented was so old that few hackers would know how to hack it! So it finally did get upgraded in 2016 – decades after other places did so.
We use a stylus as well. It has some advantages, but also some drawbacks. Obviously, signatures on a stylus aren’t as accurate. What you describe as voting in CA seems absolutely insane to me.
Didn’t someone recently do a post about the latest updates to Kari Lake’s lawsuits in Arizona, much of which is about signature verification? I don’t see it now.
You wouldnt have this problem and just moved into the 21st century and required photo id.
Zero ID in California. You state your name. I always have my sample ballot or mail-in ballot with me. The bar code on either one is scanned.
They confirm your address. You are asked to sign an iPad type screen with a stylus. You’re handed a ballot (just a long, blank sheet of paper). You stick it into a machine and follow the prompts on the screen to vote.
But that makes it hard to cheat do we can’t do it.
Thanks for the “we”. There’s blame on both sides of the aisle.
I don’t know about other counties in AZ but here in Pima County (at least where I live) we sign in with a pen on paper and a DL id. How stupid are we?
The 3-seconds-per-signature type of thing would necessarily be for mail-in type ballots, not for voting in person.
Here in Lake County, we get paper ballots to fill out. However they are eventually processed by electronic machinery.
We get a receipt and we can call the County Registrar of Voters office the week following the election to ensure that the ballot with the same ID #’s has been received and counted. I did take the time to do this in 2016 but did not bother in 2020.
In 2020 the problem seemed to be to be that the huge number of mail in ballots across the state of Calif would simply dilute the effect my ballot had on the Presidential race. And how the heck could anyone check on that problem?
And of course, even if they say your ballot was received and counted, doesn’t prove that it actually happened, or that your ballot was counted CORRECTLY.
Our people at the ballot box not only match the name and picture, they ask your address is. My guess is they’re trying to weed out people who “borrowed” someone else’s ID . . .
We used to ask “Is your address still 123 Blah St”, but now it’s displayed on the tablet and we ask them to confirm it.
Every so often, our side hears about things that should not be told but that inadvertently slip out.
The biggest “baddest” example of this that I know of is how on the day after Election day 2020, Rachel Maddow showed footage of two people who were the top election officials in that Fulton county GA vote processing center.
The reason for her showing the filmed footage was that she wanted other Democrats to realize the heroic measures that these two exhibited by staying and counting votes on through the wee hours of the aftermath of the election.
The problem? Their being there was illegal. They had illegally instructed all the election ballot count observers to go home because “we are done counting votes til the morning.” They told the Republican election officials the same thing.
So the fact that the stayed on through the wee hours was proof that this election was managed deliberately in an extremely illegal manner is provable in court by that video – which Maddow thought was a good thing to air.
I have worked with county-selected election day personnel. Some disobey standard, legally enforceable dictates – which are felonies – but they are hired on each year because “we need warm bodies and at least they show up.”
I can only imagine if this sort of person was told abt a three second rule, if they saw a signature that was questionable, they would decide that since dealing with the matter would take more than 3 minutes, they would have to let it slide.
That’s not nearly as useful.
Speaking of which, she hasn’t posted or commented since April 30. Anyone know why?
The address is good as a check against similar names. it also confirms that they are getting the correct ballot for their registered address. I assume it is illegal to lie to a voting official.
Who’s gonna prove it, and who’s gonna prosecute?
No good, unless the tablet occasionally displays bad addresses. That way you’d catch the ones that agree to anything on the screen.
It’s now been 3 weeks since rushbabe posted or commented on anything, anyone know anything?