Back in August, several thousand mail-in ballots were thrown out across Florida because the signatures on them didn’t match the ones on voter registration forms. More than 500 were thrown out in Miami-Dade alone.
For some context, the general consensus is that less than 537 votes separated Al Gore and George Bush in Florida in 2000.
So the Florida Democratic Party and Democratic National Campaign Committee sued Secretary of State Ken Detzner, arguing that voters should have a chance to fix their ballot and have their vote counted if it was struck out because of a signature issue.
A federal judge in Tallahassee agreed and ordered the state board of elections to figure it out.
“The state of Florida has categorically disenfranchised thousands of voters arguably for no reason other than they have poor handwriting or their handwriting has changed over time,” U.S. District Judge Mark Walter wrote, according to the Miami Herald.
He also called our voting laws “a crazy quilt of conflicting and diverging procedures.”
We’ll never be allowed to forget the hanging chads?
If you’ve already sent in your mail-in ballot and you want to check that it’s valid — because whose chicken scratch looks the same from year to year? — you can check the status here. If you need to file an affidavit because of a signature issue, you’ll be told on that website. You’ll also get a letter in the mail with all the forms you need to fix it if the Internet isn’t a thing.
According to Robert Rodriguez at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, you have until Nov. 7 to get it fixed and still have your ballot counted. Get on it.