Why handwriting matters when voting

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DENVER -- If you are really bad at signing your name the same way twice, you could get a surprise in the mail from Denver Elections Division.

When a ballot is turned in, a bipartisan team processes the ballot before the vote can be counted.

The team checks for certain types of discrepancies before moving the ballot forward, including matching the voter’s signature on the ballot envelope against the voter’s signature on file.

Less than 1 percent of all returned ballots in Denver have been rejected this election cycle, but it does happen.

It happened to Kim Martin’s son. Martin said she dropped off her ballot along with her two sons’ ballots on Saturday and thought that was it. On Sunday, she found a letter addressed to her oldest son.

The letter read: “We have received your voted ballot for the November 8, 2016 General Election, but we are unable to process it at this time.”

The letter went on to explain that a discrepancy was found between her son’s signature on his ballot envelope and his signature on file.

“That’s not a shocker because his signature is so bad,” Martin said.

Martin said the rest of the request seemed fishy to her though.

It instructed her son to fill out and return an affidavit along with a copy of identification.

However, the letter did not come in an envelope and was not accompanied by any other paperwork or an affidavit.

“Is it something strange that somebody is just putting in people’s mailboxes to make them screw up their vote?” Martin wondered.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers sought answers from the Denver Elections Divisions. After examining the letter, a spokesman said it was real.

It said all official correspondence is mailed in envelopes with official Denver Elections Division stationary.

The spokesman could not comment on why Martin’s son’s letter arrived by itself, but said he can obtain a digital copy of the affidavit by emailing mailballots@denvergov.org or by visiting a Voter Service and Polling Center.

Anyone with questions about official election documents should contact their local elections office.

In Denver, voters whose ballots have been rejected have until eight days after Election Day to return the required documentation for the votes to still count.