The process of verifying signatures on absentee ballots in San Diego County elections is an essential part of guaranteeing the legitimacy of the voting process. To ensure that every vote is counted, the Secretary of State's office has provided resources from the Center for Civic Design, including updated USPS templates (PDF), InDesign templates for shipping (ZIP) and return (ZIP) envelopes, and an updated USPS brochure (PDF).In California, all ballots valid for voting by mail are counted in every election, regardless of the result or the close election race. However, if voting margins are tight, the signature verification process could become a critical issue of the elections, since differences in the way counties manage the process could open the door to legal challenges. To protect the integrity of every election, Section 3017 (c) of the California Election Code requires county election officials to establish procedures to track and confirm the receipt of vote-by-mail ballots and to make this information available through an online access system on the county electoral division website or through a toll-free telephone number. When your county election official receives your voting ballot by mail, your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature(s) on your voter registration.
If there is a discrepancy between the two signatures, it will be sent to county election boards for a final decision. This is the same group that was in the national spotlight after the 2000 elections that examined hanging stains and other imperfections on discarded ballots. To make sure that your ballot is counted, it is important to follow all instructions carefully when filling out and submitting your ballot. Marking a selection incorrectly (for example, putting an X in a bubble instead of filling it) could result in your ballot being rejected. Use an official mailbox, take your ballot to an election office, or drop your ballot at a voting center, if there is one in your area. The process for verifying signatures on absentee ballots in San Diego County elections is an essential part of guaranteeing that every vote counts.
By following all instructions carefully when filling out and submitting your ballot, you can help protect the integrity of every election.