Local election officials in Texas are illegally throwing out mail-in ballots over mismatched signatures, according to a lawsuit filed by a voting rights group on behalf of two voters.
The lawsuit, filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project, alleges that Texas residents George Richardson and Rosalie Weisfeld had their ballots discarded because local officials determined that the signatures on their documents did not match the signature on their ballots.
Richardson and Weisfeld are two of at least 1,800 Texans who had their ballots discarded because of mismatched signatures, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which was joined by multiple disability advocacy groups, accuses Texas of violating the 14th Amendment right to equal protection and due process as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The lawsuit is seeking a federal court order barring election officials from rejecting ballots over signature issues or to order officials to allow voters to “cure” their ballots if there are questions over the signature.
Over 3,000 ballots rejected over signatures:
At least 1,873 ballots were rejected due to signature issues in the 2018 election and another 1,567 were rejected in 2016, according to the lawsuit.
The signatures on the voter’s application to vote by mail are compared to any signature on file with a county clerk or voter registrar over the previous six years.
The lawsuit claims that the law is not evenly applied across Texas because the law does not detail the standards for reviewing signatures.
The lawsuit says the process “necessarily develops its own idiosyncratic, arbitrary, and ad hoc procedure to determine that a ballot should be rejected.”
Election officials are not required to notify a voter their ballot was rejected until 10 days after election day, when it’s already too late to correct any issues.