Friday, February 13, 2009

Accidentally Testing Voter Signature Verification

The good news: I have evidence that my county's procedure for verifying signitures on absentee ballots has some validity.

The bad news: I found this out by having my ballot rejected. I got a letter saying the signature on my absentee ballot didn't match that which they had on file.

(Over the past couple of years, I have shortened my signature to just my initials and last name; it's much faster! But this is the first time I signed my absentee ballot with it and --- good news I suppose --- the checker noticed!)

More good news: I can have my ballot counted if I submit a copy of my driver's license and fill out a form; the county even includes a SASE.

The bad news: I carefully signed the form using my old form of signature. After sealing the envelope, I looked at my driver's license: it has the new, shorter sig. So there's a mismatch either way. I wonder what happens next?

The irony: This was a special election, with only one issue: for the first time, we were electing a commissioner of elections (previously it was an appointed office.) I don't mind stating for the record that I was voting for the person who'd held the position before it became an elective office (she'd done a fine job; why abandon competency?) In a funny way, it's comforting that my ballot was rejected since it would have been to her advantage to retain it; I suppose this is further evidence that the verification process is fair.

If people learn by making mistakes, I am working toward a Genius Grant!

No comments: