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State Board of Elections
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Absentee Voting [1 VAC 20 ‑ 70]
Action Material omissions from absentee ballots.
Stage Final
Comment Period Ends 10/12/2011
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10/8/11  1:15 am
Commenter: Richard M. Lent *

Unnecessary Additional Rules Will Invalidate Legitimate Absentee Ballots
 

I object to the proposed regulations.  Many people do not sign exactly the same way every time.  Most people's handwriting varies from time to time, sometimes by a little, often by a lot.  Also individuals may sign with different versions of their names.  For example, the Governor may be registered as "Robert" but forget this and sign his name as "Bob."  There is no need to invalidate the absentee votes of such persons merely because of these differences.  There is no evidence that any elections have been "thrown" the other way because of absentee voters who signed differently on their ballots.  Indeed this could only affect the outcome if most of the voters whose signatures varied voted one way (i.e., primarily for the Democrat or primarily for the Republican).  This is unlikely because sloppy signatures and variances in forms of names are, I believe, bipartisan.

But the effect of this regulation would be to disqualify significant numbers of absentee ballots and this might well alter the outcome of an election.  We should be trying to encourage more eligible voters to vote and that includes counting those votes!  Disqualifying absentee votes would reduce the size of the electorate to correct a problem that does not exist.

Please do not enact these regulations.  They are unnecessary and may have a harmful effect on elections (throwing an election the other way).  Moreover, there is no way for the absentee voter to return and correct his/her "faulty" signature to allow his/her absentee vote to count.




* Nonregistered public user