Organizers, officials reaching out to voters whose signatures on ballots need verification

By: - November 11, 2022 7:24 am

“If you don’t have a signature, they can’t count the ballot,” said Annette Magnus of Battle Born Progress. “That’s how they verify you are who you say you are. There is a very good and diligent process that the election department has across the state to verify who you are.” (Clark County Election Department video screenshot)

If people forgot to sign their mail-in ballot, or their signature doesn’t match with past voting records, they have until the end of the day Nov. 14 to resolve their issue, a process known as signature curing.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said there were about 7,100 ballots that needed to be cured as of Thursday morning. The county is currently tabulating mail-in ballots and can receive ballots postmarked by Nov. 8 until 5 p.m. Saturday, which means the number of those needing to be cured could increase.

Over the next few days, election departments across the state, along with organizers and state parties, will be reaching out to voters who need to fix their signature.

Annette Magnus, the executive director of Battle Born Progress, said it’s important to get back to them “especially if the elections department contacts you.”

“Call them back and cure your ballot because if you don’t cure your ballot, which means verifying you are who you say you are, your vote will not count,” she said. “That is what we are the most fearful about is that people have submitted their mail ballot, whether it’s a dropped ballot or they put it in the mail, but because their signature didn’t match for some reason or they forgot to sign their ballot, their ballot won’t count.”

In a tight election, like many ongoing races statewide, every vote counts.

Clark County provides a list of voters who need their ballots cured.

People might have to go down to cure their ballot or Clark County also provides an online application process.

Until the pandemic, Magnus said Nevadans typically voted in person with a smaller portion using absentee ballots.

The switch to universal mail ballots sent to every voter was initially adopted during Covid but expanded during the 2021 Legislative Session.

Similar to in-person voting, a person’s signature is checked against their past record to ensure it matches.

“If you don’t have a signature, they can’t count the ballot,” Magnus said. “That’s how they verify you are who you say you are. There is a very good and diligent process that the election department has across the state to verify who you are.”

Magnus said the curing process in 2020, the first time mail-in ballots were used en masse, caught some organizers off guard. They were more prepared going into 2022.

“We were able to learn a lot of lessons,” she said. “This year, before we even started the process, we did message testing with Nevadans so we knew what the messaging should look like so we weren’t scaring voters, we knew how to educate them about this process and do it in a strategic way that we could really make sure that voters understood what was needed of them.”

Magnus said there is a $40,000 statewide advertising campaign to inform voters about ballot curing.

“We want to make sure people are being educated just like how we educated them on how to use the mail ballots,” Magnus said. “It’s part of normalizing our process because it’s brand new to Nevadans.”

For the next election cycle, Emily Persaud-Zamora, the executive director of Silver State Voices, said there will be more voter education about the curing process as well as encouraging people to add contact information to their voter registrations.

“We’ve learned it’s really important that when voters are registering to vote or even updating their voter registration that they provide the county their phone number and their email,” she said. “A lot of folks don’t want to provide those things. But if you do like voting by mail and you don’t fill it out properly, in Clark County they will call you if you provide your phone number or they will also email you.”

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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