In a ruling that came down Tuesday from a US District Court judge, Election authorities in South Carolina may not reject absentee or mail-in ballots that have signatures that don’t match those that are on file.
US District Court Judge Richard Gergel, an Obama appointee, not only ruled that the state couldn’t reject ballots that present with mismatched signatures, he ruled that election authorities in South Carolina must review and reprocess ballots that have already been rejected or set aside because of mismatched signatures.
The South Carolina League of Women Voters, the organization that filed the lawsuit, issued a statement saying, “Previously, voters who submitted a ballot with a mismatched signature were not notified of the issue nor given an opportunity to fix it before their ballot was tossed out.”
A federal judge in South Carolina ruled Tuesday that local election authorities cannot discard absentee ballots whose signatures do not match those on file. https://t.co/gVdFIBxaRr
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 28, 2020
In his ruling, Gergel wrote that any election authority that wants to match signatures must first go to the court to obtain permission. He added that they then have to give voters an opportunity to correct the signature.
John Powers, an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, another group enjoined in the lawsuit, told reporters the ruling is “common sense,” saying “Election officials are not experts at reviewing signatures.”
At issue in several lawsuits across the country is whether the courts can countermand election law crafted by the state legislatures and whether they can even do it in an emergency capacity this close to an election.