25,000 California Mail Ballots Thrown Out, Says Senator McGuire; He Wants to Fix This

Press release from Senator Mike McGuire:

sample ballotA strong democracy depends on a voter’s belief that their vote counts.

However, in California, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, over 25,000 residents would be shocked to know that their ballots had been thrown away and not counted in the November 2016 General Election cycle.

These 25,000 mail ballots were thrown out because of a mismatching signature — the voter’s signature on their ballot did not match what was in their file.

While mismatching signatures can occur for a number of reasons, there is no law that mandates local election officials notify voters that their ballot will be tossed, or provide them with an opportunity to correct the mistake.

According to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union last year, California ballots went uncounted because elections officials determined the voter’s signature on the Vote By Mail ballot didn’t match the voter’s signature on file. To make matters worse, residents whose votes were not tallied did not get notified and had no way of correcting their action, let alone casting their ballot in an election.

“It’s a principle of our democracy — every vote counts,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Unfortunately, we have come to find out this old adage doesn’t always ring true. Tens of thousands of votes are thrown out without any notification to the individual voter here in California because of a discrepancy with their signature. That’s why we’ve introduced SB 759 with Secretary of State Padilla. This important legislation will establish a streamlined process for election officials across the state to notify voters when their signatures don’t match up and allow them the opportunity to cast their vote.”

There are a number of reasons why a signature may not match. For example:

· A person may have a disability

· The voter’s ability may change or make it difficult to match the signature because of a shaky hand

· A different member of the household – such as a spouse or a caretaker – may sign

· A voter’s signatures can change or evolve over time

· Or the person, such as someone whose second language is English, may be unaware that they have to sign their ballot the same way as it is on file, and sign in the characters of a non-English alphabet.

SB 759 will establish a process for election officials to notify voters when their Vote By Mail signature mismatches the one on file.

It will also require those voters whose signatures mismatch be given the opportunity to correct the discrepancy so that their votes will be counted.

SB 759 is supported by California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla, and was approved Tuesday by a 4-1 vote in the Senate Elections Committee.

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36 comments

  • Do any of those ballots belong to registered Republican voters? I bet not even one!

    • Yes, they did. I received a post card in the mail stating they wouldn’t take my ballot because I had moved. My mailing address, a post office box, was still correct. I still lived in the same voting district. I am an absentee voter and I received the post card after the election date. So you are wrong because I am ONE!

      • And besides, in blue blue California, one would expect Republicans to be purged more frequently than others.

        • Actually, since there are a lot more registered Democrats, one would expect Democrats to be purged more often. People who work for the Secretary of State are more concerned with keeping their jobs than they are with fighting the already marginalized Republican party.

          • I’d be interested in learning, on a percentage basis of all votes cast, the number of discarded votes on a party-by-party basis. You’re right that there are more Democrat than Republican registered voters, but the proportionality of discarded ballots by party would be instructive.

            • People who lose elections are always the first to cry “voter fraud”. But I don’t think there’s any evidence that the results of any election were changed because of it. Most of the current noise about voter fraud is really an attempt to reduce voting by people who presumably support democrats.

            • Dosent matter Republican’s won..it’s going to be a long few years..cry it up

    • Have you forgotten what State you reside in????

    • Liberal hypocrisy

      Hahaha nice trolling

    • Are you suggesting that California, a democrat controlled state, to the point that it has legalized weed, made some of the strictest gun regulation in the country, freed low level criminals, attempted to make single payer health care for everyone including undocumented workers even though it would bankrupt the state, declared itself a sanctuary state, etc, attempted to rig the election in favor of the opposing party? Because that is beyond asinine. That would be the equivalent of a teenage not wanting a smartphone.

  • Vote early, and vote often. Maybe at least one will count.

  • Nonsense. Only in a case where the number of uncounted ballots would effect the results should there be an attempt to validate. This is just another useless regulation for the sake of political correctness. The cost of validating every mismatched signature would be large, the results meaningless, and would be subject to endless court challenges for political posturing and accusations.

    • well look who dreamed this up! the deceased vote in Ca.

      • There is no evidence that voter fraud has affected the outcome of any election. Democrats win in California because more people want it that way.

        • There should be no voter fraud and instances of fraud should be prosecuted vigorously. It does not matter whether or not election outcome is affected. Fraud is fraud and should not be overlooked.

          • Voter fraud is certainly a bad thing, but it is very rare according to people who study such things. There are bigger fish to fry.

        • You might want to add a “yet” into your “there is no evidence”, now that Homeland Security is taking on the task of investigation and McGuire is suddenly worried about 25,000 “excused” ballots. I wonder how many more will turn up?

    • Perhaps it will not affect the outcome, but it will notify the voter that there is a need to correct their signature so this will not happen again.

  • In the “number of reasons why” the most obvious reason was omitted…voter fraud.

    • No one will be looking for fraud except the loser. Just whether the signatures match, whether they are vaild voters or not.

  • For president, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway with our electoral college system. Our vote has nothing to do with the presidential/vice presidential election. It’s decided by ‘electors’. long before I voted last year, It was already announced that Clinton had won Calif. That’s what we need to get rid of.

  • Article 4, Section 4

    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

    Excerpt from an amazing document that California politicians have a hard time finding or reading. Here, I’ll leave the link for you. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/tocs/a4_4.html
    It’s called the Constitution.

    WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!! We are a Constitutional Republic that uses the democratic ballot to vote on Constitutional things. Unconstitutional things are supposed to be scratched from ballot. Democracy is mob ruled steal your bike mentality. We ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY!

  • I don’t know about anyone else, but MY signature is NEVER the same twice in a row!!! Between my poor penmanship & I’m usually in a hurry when I’m signing something!!!! It is seldom, if at all the same!!!

  • There is a bigger fish to fry in this pan. Check out what happened to votes which were attempted to be cast for Bernie in the primary. The DNC elected Trump by default. Lots of D-Faults.
    Both the Reps and the Dems have created a locked-down TWO party system. Only and ever TWO. Shak is right: this is no democracy.

    • Bernie lost because more people voted for Hillary. Hillary lost because about 70,000 in 3 districts voted for Trump and not her.
      Trump won fair and square because Hillary didn’t motivate enough people to go out and vote for her while Trump was able to convince enough dimwits that America was falling apart and only he could fix it.
      That’s the problem with democracy; people are free to vote for whomever is the most effective liar.

      • Really? I thought Clinton was a very effective liar. She has been practicing for decades. Before Whitewater by decades. By your criteria, she shouid have won by a landslide.

        Her mistake was believing the press and her personal sycophants who kept telling her that Trump couldn’t possibly win. So she continued to insult the public, saying that only “dimwits” (or some equivalent pejorative) would vote anyone but her. That was very motivational to those who have been called names for the previous 10 years for daring to notice how screwed over they had been. It motivated them to ignore her and vote for anyone who they thought could beat her. Anyone.

        We live in amazing times where those who lose an election they should have had in the bag call the winners “dimwits” and stubbornly keep at the same tactics. In the past, losing an election was cause for self examination and a adjustment of action. But in this case, they are so convinced of their inherent rightness they are just going to repeat the losing formula. They know in their hearts they’re right.

        Dimwits 1, Losers 0

        • The only people who claim that the polls predicted Trump couldn’t possibly win are people who don’t understand the nature of polling and how the data are analyzed; apparently including you. Polling results are expressed in terms of probabilities. There was never a poll that claimed Clinton would definitely win. The polls gave statistical probabilities, some as high as 80%, of a Clinton win. But there was always a corresponding probability that Trump would win. The odds were not in Trump’s favor. A Trump win was always known to be a possibility by anyone with an understanding of basic statistics. Trump simply beat the odds…. it happens all the time.

          • Nonsense. The media, the Democrats and a huge swathe of those who should have done some self examination were acting as if there was no chance of them losing. So they continued belittling those who questioned. They would have at least tried to reconcile their opponents instead of doubling down on the contempt.

            I suppose it’s the same belief that shows in comments here all the time. A belief that getting away with insults means your opposition is too weak to defend itself. It’s easy and seems to be an acceptable substitute for thinking for many.

            If they had only respected those who raise questions and just listened, they would have not been so surprised by their loss. Unfortunately, instead of recognizing it is not all about themselves, they have mostly been having one long temper tantrum in every public venue that tolerates it since then. Which seems to be most news sources. They have learned nothing.

      • You’re absolutely right on all counts.

        My point, however, is that the DNCC has become wholly detached from any connection with us voters.
        I’ve been an active member in both the Republican and Libertarian parties, as well as in Independent efforts. In each mode, I’ve been dumbfounded by the hypocrisy.

        I registered Democrat (for the first time) to vote for Bernie Sanders. Following up, I discovered all the structural FRAUD underpinning the Democratic Party presidential election process.

        I’m glad things are looking better on your side on the aisle. Happy New Year.

  • So many Russian bots commenting here. Bring it on bots!!

    • Hilarious!
      For those not in the know about twitter calling pro American’s russian bots or rednecks, then banning or shadow boxing them, watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64gTjdUrDFQ

      • Thank you. I did not recognize it as the latest buzzword. Why is name calling not recognized for what it is? An unthinking , emotional, knee jerk response precluding having to think for themselves.

        Not only do such people refuse to listen to anything from anyone else that is not a cheer for the home team, they have ceased to hear themselves. It’s like being in a room of screaming parrots.

  • “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.” – Joe Stalin

  • Which three or four States was it that Jill Stein demanded election recounts in? Oh yes I remember now. The ones that counties decided to snoot the electronic machines and vote by paper ballot instead.
    I wish all counties would be as wise. I love seeing the look of shock and surprise, followed thereafter with riots.

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