Provisional ballots: It’s All About Dealing with Voter Suppression

By Dave Lindorff

Sample provisional ballot

The Republicans, worried that the party may lose two Senate seats, a Governor’s mansion, and probably a bunch more close races for the House over the counting of disputed mail-in ballots and provisional ballots, are drumming up conspiracy theories now. I just drove through Trump Country last night and listened to Fox Radio as the host Laura Ingraham and her call-ins denounced the recount battles as Democratic corruption.

The biggest laugh was when Ingraham noted that Floridians had passed a law that will (finally!) permit non-violent felons who have served their time to vote. She snarkily said, “We’ll see how that works out!”   This, of course, after Republican voters in Southern California elected to the House two convicted felons.

At any rate, it needs to be pointed out to these people, who are either simply incapable of logic or just grabbing at straws to attack a legitimate need for a careful count of all ballots, that there are good reasons why signatures when a person votes, and when they originally registered to vote, can be different looking. My father-in-law is 91, and has palsied hands. When we tried to get him a mail ballot so he could vote at the nursing home he lives in, he enthusiastically signed the ballot application as best as he could. It was rejected by New Jersey authorities (NJ is a heavily Democratic state by the way and he happens to be a Democrat) because they said his signature didn’t match the one he signed five years ago when he and my mother-in-law moved to New Jersey from Florida and registered to vote when they got their state ID cards at the state Motor Vehicle Dept.

Of course his signatures don’t match! His hands were steady five years ago.

But no amount of phone calling about it would convince the Bergen County registrar to send out a mail ballot to his address, and as we live in Pennsylvania, and he, while of sound mind but on oxygen and bed-bound, is physically unable to take an ambulette trek to county offices just to prove he is who he is.

So he didn’t get to vote.

My mother-in-law, incidentally, did receive a mail ballot, though her signature, always illegible like her handwriting, is now perfectly neat (and perfectly different from the one she signed when she registered). This is because she has arthritic hands and at this point has to work at writing, so she does her signature carefully now, not as a fast scrawl as she used to do. Nobody noticed the difference when she applied for her ballot, but if she were still living in Broward County, Florida, irate Republicans and the party’s lawyers would probably be trying to have her consistently Democratic vote voided.

And it’s not just old people…

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative new site please go to:  https://thiscantbehappening.net/hey-right-wingers-signatures-change-over-time/

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