Judge rejects Republican appeal against signature checks on mail-in ballots


RALEY, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Election Commission signed on Monday as it reviewed absentee ballot envelopes this fall after a judge dismissed a Republican appeal from a ruling banning the state board’s practice. I instructed county elections officials not to do the matching.

According to a directive sent to the county board of elections by Board Counsel Paul Cox, the judge’s ruling upholds the status quo outlined in state law, and all absent voters are eligible for 2 votes. Ballots must be filled out in the presence of a person’s witness or notary. A North Carolina absentee ballot must include the date of birth and either the driver’s license number or the last four digits of the voter’s social security number.

North Carolina Republicans filed a motion in Wake County Superior Court last week. Ask Courts to Prevent State Commissions from Enforcing Declarative Judgments This prevented county elections officials from comparing signatures on absentee ballots and return envelopes to signatures on voter registration records.

Superior Court Judge Stefan Hutrell ruled Monday afternoon from the bench, denying the party’s motion for a temporary injunction, barring the use of signature matching in the 2022 general election, state commissioners said. Association spokesperson Pat Gannon said.

“Under state law, the identity of an absentee voter is based on the confidential personal information the voter provides when requesting a ballot, the voter’s certificate on the ballot envelope, and the voter’s vote on the ballot. It is confirmed by a two-witness or notary’s certificate that says,” Cox wrote. In a directive obtained by the Associated Press.

The Democratic majority of the July board Rejected first signature match offer It was introduced by Republicans, citing concerns that it could create unequal access to the vote and partisan bias could contaminate the electoral process.

Republicans argue that signature verification is another necessary element of election transparency. In addition to pushing for its adoption, they are also fighting the state board’s proposed restrictions. a pollster appointed by a political party.

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley said, “It’s ridiculous that these signatures are on file and we can’t use them.” “It’s a very common-sense tool, and I don’t think it explains why the board not only doesn’t have to use it, but directs it not to.”


Hannah Schoenbaum is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues. follow her on her twitter @H_ Schoenbaum.