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Signature Matching Will Continue In Ohio - At Least For This November's Election

Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau

The process of matching a voter’s signature on a ballot or ballot application against the signature provided on a voter’s initial registration will continue for this election. An injunction that was filed to remedy that process in this November's election was denied by a federal court. 

The ACLU of Ohio’s Freda Levenson says the larger case to get rid of signature matching is still alive but the injunction her group sought for this election isn’t. She says signatures from the same person can be different depending on the circumstances or age.  

“What appears to an elections official to be a mismatch is, in most cases, 97% of the time, is actually a valid signature by the voter," Levenson says.

The ACLU had asked for an order to require boards of elections to notify, by email or a phone call, voters flagged for signature mismatches. She says the ACLU will collect more evidence, including from this election, to make their case to strike signature matching altogether.  

In a written statement, Maggie Sheehan from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose's office said, "Ohioans know that election accessibility and security are not mutually exclusive. We're pleased Judge Watson recognized that as well."

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.