Victory! Arizona Agrees to Notify Voters Before Rejecting Ballots

Issues
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Pen, writing, arizona

On Friday, November 9, 2018 the Maricopa County Superior Court ordered all county recorders statewide to permit voters to “cure” their signature mismatch issue by the Wednesday, November 15 deadline to fix conditional provisional ballots. The parties agreed that the “cure” period requires county recorders to provide notice to voters with supposed signature mismatches and allow them to confirm their signature.

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and our partners filed a brief late Thursday night on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the League of Women Voters, and Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation to defend the right of all Arizona voters to have their vote counted. 

In follow-up to a letters sent in October, the brief calls 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. 

On Thursday, November 8, an Arizona judge will hear the lawsuit filed by several Arizona County Republican Parties and the state Republican Party challenging the disparate standard statewide for whether voters are provided notice and an opportunity to cure issues identified with signatures on mail-in ballots after Election Day.

Following the letter sent in late October, Maricopa County committed to permitting voters to remedy “mismatched” signature issues; however, there is no statewide standard. The court can fix the patchwork system across the state of Arizona by making clear that all Arizona counties cannot deny voters due process.

Pollworkers are not handwriting experts, and whether someone’s ballot counts should not be determined on the whim of an official who mistakenly concludes that a voter’s signature is not genuine. Voters must be informed when such a conclusion is reached, and must be provided a chance to prove they genuinely signed the ballot. The Constitution requires this.