Signature Matching Will Continue In Ohio - At Least For This November's Election
The process of matching a voter’s signature on a ballot or ballot application against the signature provided on a voter’s initial registration will continue for this election. An injunction that was filed to remedy that process in this November's election was denied by a federal court.
The ACLU of Ohio’s Freda Levenson says the larger case to reform the process of signature matching is still alive but the injunction her group sought for this election isn’t. She says signatures from the same person can be different depending on the circumstances or age.
“What appears to an elections official to be a mismatch is, in most cases, 97% of the time, is actually a valid signature by the voter," Levenson says.
The ACLU had asked for an order to require boards of elections to notify, by email or a phone call, voters flagged for signature mismatches. She says the ACLU will collect more evidence, including from this election, to make their case that signature matching should not be used for eliminating ballots unless voters are given ample time to remedy the situation.
In a written statement, Maggie Sheehan from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office said, "Ohioans know that election accessibility and security are not mutually exclusive. We're pleased Judge Watson recognized that as well."