Voter Signature Investigations

Your vote in the upcoming election may not be counted and you won't even know it, until it's too late.

The reason, steps are being taken to protect against voter fraud and it all revolves around your signature.

Before voters get to the polls, most of them will spend some time going over every issue on the ballot.

"I usually take some time; I know when I’m going in there so it happens pretty quickly."

But turns out there is one thing many voters will just skim over.

"I guess sometimes you might not sign your signature the same every time."

Chief Investigator, Larry Martin with the El Paso County District Attorney's Office says whatever you do, don't rush the signature line.

"When you sign your ballot sign it with your proper signature, that you had when you registered, don’t just scribble your name on there because it’s going to be rejected," Martin said.

In fact, in the last presidential election more than 300 votes in El Paso County were never counted.

Martin says those people signed their ballots, but since their signatures on their ballots didn't match the John Hancock on their registrations, they were left out.

"What we find a lot of times is another family member will sign it for some other family members. We'll get some ballots where a husband that’s taking it to the mailbox, realizes his wife forgot to sign it, so he does it. That gets rejected," he said.

If there's any doubt about your signature, you'll get a letter from the county clerk and recorder’s office in the mail.

Then you'll have eight days to send back the form with a copy of your driver's license, passport or some other form of identification.

"If you get that letter in the mail from the clerk and recorder’s office and you know you voted, send it back, so you know your vote counted,” Martin said.

Bottom line, if you miss the deadline, your vote doesn't count and your ballot winds up at the district attorney's office where they'll start investigating.

If there is any question from the clerk and recorder's office about a signature, both a Democrat and a Republican judge will be on hand to look it over. Together they'll decide if it needs to be investigated.

We've also learned that this is a statewide problem. Several other counties have hired investigators to verify voter signatures.

11 News is working on getting the numbers from some of El Paso’s neighboring counties. We'll let you know what we learn.