Former Congressman Patrick Murphy of Florida revealed that he was one of tens of thousands of Floridians whose absentee ballots were rejected because of an “invalid signature.”
Hey @MarcACaputo, just saw notice from @PBCounty that my absentee ballot wasn’t counted due to ‘invalid signature’ match. Should be +1 @NelsonForSenate @AndrewGillum. Must overhaul these ridiculous barriers to voting #FloridaRecount #FLSen #FLGov
— Patrick Murphy (@PatrickMurphyFL) November 9, 2018
In fact, these “invalid signature” ballot rejections are happening all over Florida. One Twitter user responded to Patrick Murphy that an election judge questioned her signature because her written signature didn’t match the signature created by using her finger on a touch screen pad at the polling location. Whose signature would match? These always look different than a written signature. And as you can probably guess, the “invalid signature” rejections seem to disproportionately happen to African American voters and young voters.
The “invalid signature” rejections are so widespread that it is likely changing the outcome of the entire election, no doubt just as it was intended. With only a 15,000 vote difference right now, Senator Nelson has filed a lawsuit seeking to revisit the “invalid signature” rejections and get these votes counted. From the Tampa Bay Times:
Nelson’s recount lawyer Marc Elias said the law puts the responsibility of signature review in the hands of untrained, unqualified local election workers and leads to the disqualification of legitimate ballots.
“This results in a complete lack of uniformity,” Elias said. “Voters in one county are subject to one standard for reviewing signatures than others.”
Nelson is asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida for an immediate injunction and to declare “that all voters who submit a (vote-by-mail) or provisional ballot, and whose ballots are subsequently determined to involve a signature mismatch, be counted as valid votes.” He also requests Saturday’s deadline to canvas ballots be extended until the legal matter is resolved.
Needless to say, the outcome of this lawsuit could very well determine the election outcome in Florida. Stay tuned.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.