Signatures matter when voting
Last updated 2/1/2022 at 7:44am
RITZVILLE – With ballots for the upcoming special election to be dropped off or post marked by Feb. 8, Adams County Auditor Heidi Hunt reminds voters to sign their own return envelope.
“A lot of people think we never look at signatures,” she said, noting it’s not tru.
The signature on each returned envelope is manually compared to the signature on file at the Adams County Elections Office. Even in larger counties, this one-by-one examination of signatures happens with each returned envelope.
Envelopes with signatures that don’t appear to match are set aside by the elections administrator, unopened, for the canvassing board to review.
In Adams County the Canvassing Board – consisting of Hunt, Prosecuting Attorney Randy Flyckt and County Commissioner Dan Blankenship – have handwriting and signature training from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. These elected officials evaluate whether or not two signatures were made by the same person.
For votes where the signatures don’t match, letters are sent to the registered voter to attempt to resolve the discrepancy, before the final count and certification of the election, Hunt said, noting it can be a time-consuming process.
Voters can help streamline the election process by filling out their own ballot and signing their own return envelope, she said.