California would give its voters another chance to sign their mail-in ballots correctly under a bill nearing passage in the Legislature’s final week of session.
The measure, Senate Bill 759, would require that county election officials notify a voter if their signature on the mail-in ballot does not match the one on file.
Voters would have two days before the election results are certified to return a valid signature.
Proponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, argue that tens of thousands of ballots were rejected in 2016 because signatures didn’t seem to match.
Monday’s vote in the Assembly split along party lines, with Republicans, such as Assembly member Steven Choi, arguing it incentivizes laxer reviews by counties.
“Elections officials are likely to allow questionable signatures on vote-by-mail ballots in order to minimize the need to verify on the back-end of the election,” Choi said.
The Assembly approved the bill under a two-thirds majority vote. It heads to the Senate, and should it pass with a supermajority and the governor sign it, it would take effect before the November general election.
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