Federal Judge Lets Florida Voters Fix Mismatched Ballot Signatures

Minnie Murray
November 15, 2018

A federal judge has decided voters whose ballots have invalid signatures will have until Saturday to correct them.

"Florida law provides no opportunity for voters to challenge the determination of the canvassing board that their votes do not count", Walker wrote.

Information presented during a five-hour court hearing Wednesday showed that 45 of the state's 67 counties have rejected 3,688 mail ballots and 93 provisional ballots because of signature mismatches.

In his ruling, Walker said the state's process for verifying mismatched signatures had been applied incorrectly, making it hard for voters to make changes before the original November 5 deadline.

Walker, however, is set to hear lawsuits challenging the state's process for counting overvotes and undervotes and seeking to extend the deadline for supervisors of elections to submit their recount totals.

"The supervisors of elections shall allow mismatched signature ballots to be cured in the same manner and with the same proof a mismatched signature ballot could have otherwise been cured before November 5, 2018, at 5 p.m.", Walker wrote. At last count, Scott led by about 13,000 votes, or 0.14 percentage points, down from about 50,000 on election night.

Staff announced that the vast majority of the machine recount was finished at 1 a.m. Thursday.

Broward now must finish running 384 duplicated ballots that were damaged during the machine recount.

The deadline for Florida counties to finish their recounts in Nelson's Senate race against GOP Gov. Rick Scott, as well as in the governor's race pitting former Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat, is 3 p.m. Thursday. Palm Beach officials have had problems with overheating equipment and may not meet the deadline.

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