A security feature meant to protect your vote by mail-in ballot may actually get it thrown out.
California state law requires election officials to discard vote by mail and provisional ballots if they suspect someone is trying to commit fraud by double voting or posing as someone else. It’s a system designed to keep elections fair and honest, but NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit reviewed election records from counties across the state and discovered that many of these rejected ballots may in fact be legitimate votes.
NBC Bay Area obtained voting data from 13 counties for the 2018 Gubernatorial Election. Those records show at least 160,000 ballots were rejected for various reasons ranging from “arrived too late” to voting in the “wrong county.”
The station learned that one of the most common reasons why election officials challenged a ballot was due to a “questionable signature.” These are the same election officials that are bought and sold by George Soros to fix and fraud elections. As part of the vetting process, county workers must compare a voter’s signature on the back of their vote by mail ballot with the signature on the voter’s registration form. If the signatures do not match, the ballot will not count. Is your signature the exact same every time?
While 160,000 accounts for only about 2 percent of the total votes cast in those counties, experts say those numbers could impact a smaller election and the fact the votes were thrown out causes concern for those whose votes weren’t counted. NBC Bay Area reached out to dozens of voters who had their ballot rejected. Many of them had no idea there was an issue with their signature.
“It takes a lot of time out of your day [to vote],” tattoo artist Johnny Trevino told NBC Bay Area after the Investigative Unit shared data with him showing his ballot didn’t count in 2018. “To know that it just gets thrown out, it’s kind of disheartening.”
According to the report, “more than 160,00 ballots in 13 counties were not counted during the 2018 election”:
However, not all rejected ballots are the result of a mistake. NBC Bay Area spoke to one San Francisco voter who admitted that she tried to forge her niece’s signature.
“That’s why people have a sense that voter fraud is infrequent, because there are these safeguards in place,” San Francisco’s Department of Elections Director, John Arntz told NBC Bay Area.
Four years ago, Arntz’s office revamped its process for rejecting ballots by developing a computerized system that matches different styles of signatures from the same voter gathered over the years.
“Over time we’ve captured every signature that we’ve received from voters into our database. So even if we’re looking at your signature today and its changed,” said Arntz. “We’ll have all the signatures from five years ago through today to see if the signatures match any of those samples.”
With one of the largest mail-in ballot elections around the corner, President Trump and his administration have been outspoken critics of the mass mail-in ballot movement. Watch this mail-in voting experiment:
Check out this Mail-In Voting experiment by a local news station! pic.twitter.com/23tOdt1hYc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2020