Victory! Arizona Agrees to Adopt and Implement New Early-Ballot Signature Policy, Easing a Key Burden on Voting Rights
Yesterday, in response to letters sent by a coalition of Arizona groups, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes announced that he has agreed to adopt and implement a new early-ballot signature policy. This new policy will permit all voters to cure problems with their signature, even those whose ballots are received on or just before Election Day. If a mismatched signature problem is not identified by officials or resolved prior to the close of polls on Election Day, those early ballots will be treated as conditional provisional ballots. All ballots must be received by 7 pm on Election Day to be afforded this opportunity. Recorder Fontes’s office will provide notice to all affected and voters will have up to five business days to confirm their signatures.
Now, in at least Maricopa, Coconino, and Pima counties, voters can correct signature mismatch errors by contacting their recorder in the days following the election. Voters who have cast early ballots should track the status of their early ballot online at this website.
The Campaign Legal Center, ACLU, ACLU of Arizona, and Scharff PLC worked to reach this agreement on behalf of a coalition of Arizona groups: League of United Latin American Citizens-Arizona, Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, League of Women Voters-Arizona, and All Voting is Local-Arizona.
The lawyers assisting the coalition released the following statement:
“We are pleased that voters in Arizona’s three counties—including the two most populous counties in Arizona—will not have their absentee ballots rejected because officials are not ‘satisfied’ that the signature on the ballot matched the voter’s registration signature. These counties are leading the way to ensure that Arizona voters get due process by giving all voters a chance to confirm their signature. We hope that other counties follow suit and the Secretary of State will finally issue concrete guidance on this issue. We look forward to working with Recorder Fontes going forward and monitoring the details of the policy as it it’s finalized next week.”