CD-3 Voters With Faulty Ballots Suddenly Extremely Popular

Lauren Boebert checking to see if this tarantula cured its ballot.

As Denver7’s Colette Bordelon reports, in the rush to “cure” ballots by close of business today in Colorado’s unexpectedly close CD-3 race between Democrat Adam Frisch and Republican incumbent freshman locus of outrage Lauren Boebert, voters who had a temporarily disqualifying error on their ballot, usually unsigned or an issue with their signature not matching official records, have become the subject of a nationwide campaign to “encourage” them fix the problem and have their vote counted. And like anyone who finds themselves suddenly on the receiving end of large numbers of text messages, phone calls, and door knocks from salesman, missionaries, and/or political campaigns, it’s certainly a jarring experience:

In Pueblo County, some campaigns are annoying their constituents by aggressively pursuing voters who need to cure their ballot. Tactics include calling, texting, reaching out to relatives, and in a few instances, showing up at voter’s homes…

Ortiz said there were 725 Pueblo voters who needed to fix signature discrepancies. At last check, he said around 300 ballots still needed to be cured.

“People’s interest in the curable ballots, they’re only interested in that when there’s a close race like this one. A lot of times, there’s nobody calling these people, and so they’re not used to it. They’re not used to the attention that they’re getting, just like my elections department is not used to the attention they’re getting,” said Ortiz. “My post was a warning out there to campaigns, letting them know that we’re getting a lot of complaints.”

So first of all, it needs to be restated that only a tiny fraction of voters are being contacted by the campaigns about problems that prevented their ballot from being counted. “A lot of complaints” can’t add up to more than the number of problematic ballots, and voters who are upset about being contacted can rest easy in the knowledge that races are rarely close enough to provoke this kind of attention–and correcting signature issues on a ballot helps prevent the problem from happening the next election.

Having gone through all the trouble of completing and returning a mail ballot, it’s hard for us to imagine anyone not wanting to ensure their ballot counts–especially in this extremely close congressional race that could decide the majority in Congress. Just like with voting by mail, the best way to make the phone calls and text messages chasing your ballot stop is to deal with the issue as quickly as possible.

With all of that said, it’s possible that campaigns employing “crowdsourcing” techniques to direct volunteers en masse at this small pool of voters is an excessively brute-force strategy, and that could be a useful subject of study in the aftermath. All we can say today is, neither campaign wants to lose this race due to any action they could have in retrospect taken.

There’s a hard limit to all of this, just a few hours away.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    The only reason I try to write in good-quality cursive anymore is when I'm signing my ballot!

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Signature matching isn't by legibility or "is the full name signed."  It is by characteristics of writing … slant, motions, rhythm, relative sizes and possibly common letters.  As long as your signature looks like previous signatures on ballots, driver's license, or other interactions with the government, you should be fine.

  2. Dano says:

    Ballots needing cured because the signature doesn't match what is on file is actually pretty rare. If Pueblo has a large number of these, this suggests to me less than adequate signature verification training by the Clerk's office.

    The far more common reason for needed cures is the voter forgot to sign the envelope at all. So if people don't want to be contacted after they vote, they need to follow directions.

    The same is true for those who were instructed to provide ID and failed to do so (the #2 reason why cures are needed).

  3. JeffcoBlue says:

    The first time I voted by mail they had to double check my signature. I've never had a problem since then.

  4. Old Time Dem says:

    Rejecting ballots for signature mismatch particularly affects young voters, since young adults signatures tend to be less consistent.

  5. westslope says:

    Poor babies! We have become a nation of wusses.

     

  6. psyclone says:

    Young voter needing ballot curing sez "I'm never gonna vote again! So THERE!"

    That is so in line with the prevailing perception that voting isn't so much a civic duty, but now just a form of "lifestyle expression." Pathetic.

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