In a democracy, fair and honest elections are of the utmost importance. It’s why many states have laws protecting against voter fraud. Yet, many argue that these laws do the opposite of their intended effect, and instead restrict people’s right to vote rather than protect it.
In Michigan, Priorities USA, a progressive advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the State’s signature-matching law is unconstitutional and disenfranchises voters.
The law requires election officials to reject any absentee ballot whose signature does not match the one that election officials have on-file. While on the surface this seems like a standard measure to prevent voter fraud, in reality, the lawsuit argues, it is “arbitrary and standardless” and causes people’s votes to be thrown out without real cause. This is because a signature may not match for a whole host of innocent reasons, including age, illness, injury, pen type, ink type, writing surface, etc.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the suit claims that the law the does not require election officials to undergo any training in handwriting analysis.
“In fact,” the suit continues, “no one really knows how Michigan election officials decide whether a signature or an absentee ballot or ballot application is sufficiently similar to the previously designated signature to withstand scrutiny.”
In addition to the questionable expertise of those examining the signatures, the lawsuit also argues that there are few ways for voters to challenge the decision made by the election officials. “State law provides no mechanism by which voters whose ballots are wrongfully discarded for alleged signature mismatches may challenge that determination or cure their rejected ballots or absentee ballot applications.”
The defendant in the case, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, has made no official comment to the lawsuit at this time.
Voter fraud is a serious allegation, which is why it must be examined by expert forensic document examiners. Here at Drexler Document Laboratory, we bring decades of experience to any forensic document examination case, including suspected ballot fraud. Contact us today at 844-373-9522 to learn more about our services.