24 April 2021

Voter suppression technique analysed

As explained by the Tampa Bay Times:
Handwriting experts say no two signatures from one person are the same. It’s why Florida election officials for years have used all the signatures at their disposal — sometimes more than a dozen — when they authenticate a voter’s signature on a mail-in ballot.

DeSantis wants to rein-in that long-standing practice. Vote-by-mail signatures “must match the most recent signature on file” with the state Department of Elections, DeSantis declared in February. A bill moving through the Florida Senate would make that one-to-one match the law.

Some election officials say limiting signature samples could make it harder to authenticate the identities of those who vote by mail, perhaps leading to more rejected ballots. Signatures change over time, they say, and are often affected by the choice of pen, the writing surface, fatigue or a person’s health.

DeSantis’ own John Hancock has undergone a transformation during his time in government, as demonstrated by 16 of his signatures compiled by the Tampa Bay Times from publicly available sources between 2008 and now...

The most recent signature for many voters may be the one they used when they signed their driver’s licenses at a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles office. That signature is often recorded on a digital pad with a stylus — not with a pen, like how a ballot is signed.
My most recent signature "on file" with the state is the one on my driver's license, which is only two years old - but looks quite different from my current signature.


  1. With this knowledge, can we just suspend the bullshit that a signature on a piece of paper means anything?

    1. The signature doesn't mean diddlyshit on a credit card purchase etc. I just make a wiggly line. Some people write "Donald Duck" just for laughs. Nobody cares.

    2. I just bought a car and refied my house. Spend 20 minutes signing and initialing paperwork for both. What bothers me is the pretense that I understood what I was signing. And that it mattered that every piece of nonsensical paperwork got signed individually.

      It is bullshit.

      Quite frankly it is very unfair to the buyer. Because as a regular person not in the profession of making up these documents, you really have no way of understanding what you're signing and what it means. None.

      But we continue with the charade because most people are too intimidated to express their lack of understanding, especially since you won't get your car or house if you ask questions.

      There has to be a better way.

    3. Conversely, I have read believable reports of people receiving documents in the mail to sign, crossing out words/phrases/sentences before signing, and winning in court when the changes are upheld as valid after the document is countersigned by the other party who didn't see the amendments.

  2. Maybe someone more knowledgeable can answer... Wouldn't a challenge to this kind of thing in front of the Supreme Curt win almost automatically? I'm sure Republican support of this stuff is 100% cynical, but surely they realize they have no leg to stand on from a constitutional perspective? I guess it just feeds into the cycle of grievance then, with activist judges re-writing the Bill of Rights to punish them...

  3. Seems to support the need for a voter ID. Signature is subjective and can change for reasons, such as arthritis. All the arguments AGAINST a standardized ID simply fail the sniff test.


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