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We’re seeing new voting barriers pop up nationwide, including right here in North Carolina.

The NC Republican Party is demanding the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) violate its authority, experience, and equitable standards by tossing North Carolinians’ legitimate ballots for the upcoming midterm election. Local elections officials already verify signatures by requiring two witnesses. This additional signature verification requirement is unnecessary and would result in extra costs to local boards of elections which are already underfunded by the legislature.  This is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.

If enacted, this move would authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee ballot request forms and absentee ballot return envelopes, leading to thousands of otherwise legitimate ballots being rejected and tossed into the garbage.

Signature matching is an unreliable and discriminatory method of discarding valid votes that disproportionately impacts vulnerable voters. Research in other states has shown that ballots from Black, Indigenous, Latinx, disabled, and elderly voters are disproportionately rejected at higher rates.

The NCSBE has opened public comment through Tuesday, July 5 >>> Make your voice heard today

Need some help knowing what to say?  Here are some tips! When submitting a comment, share your own perspective about how this change could impact you or your community. The more personal to you, the better. For example:

  • “I have a disabled mother, who has a hard time writing her signature due to arthritis. If signature verification comes to NC, her ballot could be thrown out.”
  • “My signature has changed significantly over the past 20 years. I am worried that if signature verification comes to NC, my ballot could be rejected.”
  • “I have served as a poll worker in past elections, and I know how hard our jobs are already. It is not fair to place yet another job onto election officials when they are already underfunded and overworked.”

We have proven time and time again that we have safe, fair, transparent elections here in North Carolina. With midterms only a few months away, we must make our voice heard and ensure the NCSBE counts every vote.

Response to NC Republican Party’s Request for Declaratory Ruling

Click here to read our letter to the NC State Board of Elections

Policy Memo: Witness & Voter Signature Verification

Click here to view the PDF of this Policy Memo.