Arizona voters who don’t sign some ballots will get 2nd shot

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona voters who forget to sign the envelope on their early ballots will have a chance after Election Day to fix their mistake.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has agreed to a new policy to require officials to notify voters about missing signatures on early ballots, the Arizona Republic reports . The new policy is part of a settlement in a voting rights lawsuit filed by the Navajo Nation last year.

According to the changes, state election officials will give voters five business days after an election to remedy the problem.

The move comes after the Navajo Nation filed a federal lawsuit last year that sought emergency relief for more than 100 tribal members who either weren’t able to address mismatched signatures or didn’t know to sign the ballot envelope.

Navajo Nation sued then-Secretary of State Michele Reagan and election officials in three counties shortly after last year’s general election when election administrators did not count mail ballots that were unsigned or had signatures that did not match registration records.

In its lawsuit, the Navajo Nation said different counties had different processes for allowing voters to “cure” ballots missing a signature.

In 2018, Maricopa County continued to allow voters to verify their signatures on ballots after Election Day. Other counties stopped as the polls closed in their counties. Several county Republican parties sued over the inconsistent practices, and a judge ordered all counties continue checking signatures for several days after the election had ended.

But the Navajo Nation argued in its lawsuit that county recorders still handled problems with early ballots inconsistently, leaving the votes of tribal members uncounted.


Information from: The Arizona Republic,