Posted BY: Kara | NwoReport

In a significant development for election integrity, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge John Napper recently ruled that Arizona’s signature matching process for mail-in ballots is unlawful. This verdict has been hailed as a “massive win” by the plaintiffs, the public interest group Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE).

The lawsuit was brought against Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, with RITE alleging that Fontes had violated the law about the procedures for verifying mail-in ballot signatures. Specifically, the group argued that Fontes had unreasonably expanded the definition of a “registration record” in the Secretary of State’s Elections Procedures Manual. This broader interpretation increased the pool of signatures that could be compared to an early ballot affidavit signature, thereby elevating the risk of false positives.

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The crux of the issue was that while state law mandates county recorders to match mail ballot signatures with those in the voter’s “registration record,” the Secretary’s guidance had directed a wider and less reliable set of comparison signatures. This discrepancy raised concerns about the accuracy and integrity of the signature verification process.

Judge Napper’s ruling sided with the plaintiffs, declaring the Secretary’s law interpretation unlawful. This decision has significant implications for Arizona election procedures and could potentially impact similar practices in other states.

In conclusion, the court’s decision to deem Arizona’s signature matching process unlawful represents a substantial victory for election integrity advocates. It highlights the importance of adhering to strict and well-defined verification procedures to ensure the fairness and accuracy of the electoral process. This ruling may prompt reforms and revisions in signature matching practices in Arizona and jurisdictions facing similar challenges to uphold the integrity of their elections.