“In this case, the 2019 Election Protocol Manual remains in effect. It contains an incorrect definition of registration record as does the advice from the Secretary of State alleged in the Complaint. This incorrect definition and instruction currently carry the weight of law. The Secretary is bound by the election statutes and any dictates in the EPM which violate or deviate from these statutes do ‘not have the force of law.’ The Special Action in this alleges just such a violation” – Judge John Napper
Arizona Judge rules that the State’s current mail-in ballot signature verification process is unlawful and they violated the law in both the 2020 and 2022 elections.
Court: Arizona’s Sloppy Ballot Signature Verification Guidance ‘Contradicts The Plain Language’ Of State Law
By: Shawn Fleetwood, The Federalist, September 06, 2023
An Arizona court found on Friday that ballot signature verification guidance issued by the secretary of state’s office does “not have the force of law.”
VICTORY: AZ court rules Secretary of State has been using illegal signature-verification methods for past 2 elections
Ballot signatures weren’t being matched w/voter registrations in violation of state law
AZ must fix before next election or court will force them
This is why… pic.twitter.com/TRUSZuqPiA
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) September 6, 2023
In the ruling from Judge John Napper, the Superior Court of Yavapai County denied motions to dismiss a complaint filed by Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) against Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, that alleged Arizona’s Elections Procedures Manual (EPM) contains unlawful signature-match guidance. In Arizona, the EMP governs how elections are run in the state.
Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) secured a massive win to restore the integrity of signature matching to authenticate mail-in ballots in Arizona last Friday, enhancing Arizona’s ability to trust its election results. In March, RITE sued the Arizona Secretary of State, challenging the state’s unlawful signature-match process. While state law requires county recorders to match mail-ballot signatures with signatures in the voter’s “registration record,” the Secretary instructed them to use a broader and less reliable universe of comparison signatures. That means the Secretary was requiring ballots to be counted despite using a signature that did not match anything in the voter’s registration record. This was a clear violation of state law.
On Friday, the Superior Court for the County of Yavapai agreed with RITE that the state is conducting signature matching in an unlawful manner. The court said that the “statute is clear and unambiguous” and that “the legislature intended for the recorder to attempt to match the signature on the outside of the envelope to the signature on the documents the putative voter used to register.” The court found that the Secretary’s signature-match process unlawfully “contradicts the plain language” of the statute by permitting signature comparison with documents that have “nothing to do with the act of registering.”
“RITE will build on this victory to continue to fight in court for elections that are administered according to democratically enacted laws, not illegal partisan commands. This is a huge victory toward securing the elections that Arizonans deserve, which are elections they can trust.” – Derek Lyons, President and CEO of RITE
As RITE has repeatedly argued, in court and through public comment, the Arizona Secretary of State must change his procedures before the next election so that signature matching can protect the integrity of Arizona’s mail-in balloting process. If he does not do so on his own, RITE is confident that the court will order him to do just that.
BREAKING: Election expert claims 25% of all the 2020 Maricopa County, AZ mail-in-ballots have no signature match, meaning 420,987 ballots out of 1.9 million are fraudulent, invalid and illegal.
— Leading Report (@LeadingReport) September 6, 2023
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.