In Arizona, around 80% of voters choose to receive a mail-in ballot. Despite the ubiquity of voting by mail, thousands of ballots have been uncounted because of an alleged “mismatched” signature, as judged by election officials (not handwriting experts). Adding to the injustice, many voters were unaware that their vote was at risk until it was too...
At a Glance
CLC challenged Arizona’s system of rejecting mail-in ballots because election officials were not “satisfied” that the signature on the ballot matches voter registration signatures. The state was ordered to give voters a chance to fix it.Back to top
About this Case
In prior elections, some Arizona county recorders had indicated they stop notifying voters whose absentee ballot signatures are deemed “mismatched” as of 7 P.M. on Election Day—so voters who turn their ballots in on time, just closer to the deadline, were given no opportunity to prove their signatures were genuine. CLC and the ACLU sent a letter to the Arizona Secretary of State and the county recorders prior to the 2018 election warning that this practice violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution.
Maricopa and Pima County then publicly confirmed they would continue providing notice and an opportunity to cure following Election Day. Two days after the election, several county Republican Parties sued to enjoin that practice because several rural counties were not permitting voters the same notice and cure opportunity.
CLC, along with the ACLU and local counsel Scharff PLC filed a brief late in the evening on October 8, 2018 in the emergency matter in Arizona state court on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the League of Women Voters, and Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation to defend the due process rights of all Arizona voters, calling on the court to order that all Arizona counties give voters the opportunity to confirm their signatures through Wednesday, November 14 – the deadline to fix conditional provisional ballots. A hearing was held on November 9 and all Arizona counties agreed to the November 14 deadline.