Voting By Mail Is Secure, But It Has A Seriously Low-Tech Downside: Your Signature

from Fast Company

By now you’ve thought seriously about voting by mail. You’ve seen the long lines of angry and/or nervous and/or bored mask-wearing people outside of polling places, as in Milwaukee during the primaries, and you don’t want that to be you. What you might not realize is that while voting by mail is widely considered to be secure, it’s still a clunky, low-tech process governed by decades-old laws. And whether or not your vote is counted could easily come down to the way you sign your ballot.

One of the main reasons absentee ballots get rejected is that the signature you write on them doesn’t match with the signature the state has on file for you. That determination, it turns out, isn’t made by handwriting experts or fancy computer vision algorithms, but rather by untrained (and often harried) election workers.

And the deck is stacked against those people anyway. That’s because the two signatures they’re asked to match were created in very different ways and at very different times.

When the election worker receives your mail-in ballot, they match the signature on it with a signature on file, which is usually pulled from DMV records. At the DMV, you almost always write your signature using a pen stylus on a screen.

More here.

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