Today, the Arizona Democratic Party, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Democratic National Committee released the following joint statement after an Arizona federal court ruled that the state must allow voters to cure missing signatures on otherwise valid absentee ballots.
In June, the Arizona Democratic Party, DSCC, and DNC filed a lawsuit challenging an Arizona state law that risked disenfranchising thousands of voters by allowing election officials to reject mail-in ballots that are missing signatures, which was at odds with how other mail-in ballots are processed. For example, if the signature on a mail-in ballot does not match the signature the state has on file, a voter has five business days from the date of the election to correct the issue and ensure their vote is counted. Under the court’s ruling, voters who submit mail-in ballots without a signature now have the same opportunity to cure them and ensure their votes are counted as well.
In Maricopa County alone, election officials previously rejected 18,420 mail-in ballots between 2008 and 2018 because they were missing signatures. The rule disproportionately impacts communities of color and Tribal Nations, who are more likely to have their ballots rejected due to missing signatures.
“Thousands of Arizona voters — particularly voters of color — have been disenfranchised by this flawed rule, which led to their ballots being tossed aside and uncounted. The court decision last week is a victory for voters across Arizona, and an important step forward in ensuring equal access to the ballot box during the pandemic. Our democracy is stronger when every vote is counted, and Democrats will continue fighting to protect the right to vote so that every American can make their voice heard this fall.”