Some have requested that the nationwide audit include signature matching, but through the regular status processes it has already been performed twice.
ATLANTA – TO UPDATE: On Thursday evening, December 3, Governor Brian Kemp requested an inspection of the envelopes that had been sent postal ballot papers with signatures on them. This process would not be able to identify individual votes that should not have been cast, as outlined in this article, but it would potentially identify an indefinite number that have not been properly handled. It is not yet clear whether the state will conduct such a review.
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It’s something that President Trump raised as a sticking point while Georgia was conducting its audit, and something that its supporters have often asked of the state: signature matching.
The thing about signature matching, however, is that it has already been run – and cannot be run again.
Here’s the deal: Georgian law requires election workers to verify the signature the first time they receive a postal vote in the mail or from a Dropbox.
The actual law itself reads: “The registrar or clerk then compares the identifying information on the oath with the information on file in his office, comparing the signature or mark on the oath with the signature or mark on the absent voter’s request for absentee ballot.”
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Basically, you request a postal vote and sign an oath confirming that you are who you say is on the envelope you put the ballot in, and then mail it to the county polling station . They’ll take it, check your signature to make sure you are who you say you are, then send it off for the count. This is how the signature comparison takes place in Georgia in its most basic form.
Now the Georgian Foreign Minister’s office has actually added a signature matching step this year: if you requested a postal vote, a signature was required on your postal vote application form (or, if you requested it online, you submitted your driver’s license number when you submitted the request via the Foreign Minister’s online portal).
So they checked your signature before sending you a ballot and then checked it again when they received your ballot.
Here’s why you can’t do this again during the current hand counting audit
When President Trump says something like “Georgia won’t let us look at the all-important signature match,” what he’s asking – looking at the signatures again – is literally impossible.
The reason for this lies in the constitution of the state of Georgia itself: it clearly states that “elections by the people are to be conducted by secret ballot and in accordance with the procedures required by law”. (Emphasis added)
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To comply with this, your signature is only on the envelope you sent. Once a polling officer who is counting the votes opens your envelope and takes out your ballot, there is no way to re-connect them.
According to Gabriel Sterling in the Secretary of State’s office, the counties are keeping the envelopes for record keeping, but again there is no way to re-attach an envelope with your signature to your voting slip. That simply does not work.
If the President says the test is “meaningless” without going back to the signature match, please understand: it has already been done twice and there is simply no human way to do it again.