Decision 2020

Make Your Vote Count: Check Your Ballot Signature

The signature on your ballot envolope doesn't have to be identical to your voter registration, but it has to be close

NBC Universal, Inc.

Social media posts have been warning voters that if the signature on their ballot doesn't match the signature on their voter registration, their vote won't count this year.

While there is some truth to that, it's not exactly the case. NBC 7 spoke with San Diego County Registrar Michael Vu who laid out the rules.

The first thing to know is that the Registrar of Voters Office uses signatures to detect fraud so it is an important step in the process.

It is true that the registrar's office does compare the signature on the return ballot envelope against a voter's registration record. But election officials must begin with the presumption that the signatures are a match.

Vu says as long as the signatures are similar, you should be OK.

Some Republicans claim that voting by mail increases fraud, but the evidence just doesn’t support those claims. So what’s the disconnect?

But even if the signatures are not a close enough match, the office does not just simply throw out your vote. Vu says there are multiple steps the registrar's office takes before rejecting a ballot because of an incorrect signature.

The office notifies the voter immediately and will provide instructions on how to validate your vote. The voter has until 28 days after the election to correct the signature, leaving the registrar's office two more days to certify the election.

Of course, the registrar's office takes fraud very seriously and reminds people that committing voter fraud is a federal crime that they will report to the District Attorney's Office and the Secretary of State for investigation and possible prosecution.

Contact Us