RELEASE DATE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2022
MEDIA CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
An unnecessary request for signature matching could throw out thousands of legitimate ballots from voters of color in future NC elections
Raleigh, North Carolina – North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) opposes the scrutinization of signatures for absentee ballot request forms and envelopes. We urge North Carolinians to submit public comments before July 5, 2022, advocating against this discriminatory and unnecessary practice.
The State Board of Elections is considering a request to authorize county boards of elections to scrutinize voter signatures on absentee ballot request forms and return envelopes, to determine whether to count those ballots in North Carolina elections. An alarming study by Asian Americans Advancing Justice found that Asian Americans in California faced higher than average vote-by-mail ballot rejection rates in 2016. Over half of those rejections were due to mismatched signatures.
“In 2020, vote by mail was used by Asian Americans more than any other racial group in North Carolina,” NCAAT Executive Director, Chavi Koneru, said. “Our effort to create a more informed and engaged pan-Asian voting bloc requires fighting to remove and reduce barriers to voting for our population. NCAAT opposes any suggestions that would make voting more difficult for our community.”
North Carolina law currently requires an absentee voter to confirm their identity by having two witnesses or a notary attest that the voter completed their ballot. This measure, so far, has fulfilled the identity verification requirement. By allowing voter signature scrutinization, the State Board of Elections would put yet another undue barrier on voters’ ability to cast a ballot. The authorization of this rule would unnecessarily affect and disproportionately marginalize young voters, elderly voters, voters of color, voters with limited English proficiency, voters who are unable to sign their name and instead use an ‘X’ (an acceptable form of signature on a ballot), and voters with disabilities. Our votes are important, they matter, and count—regardless of how it’s done.
The State Board of Elections opened a written public comment period from Friday, June 10, through Tuesday, July 5. NCAAT has created an online form for North Carolinians to submit their public comments to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. https://www.ncaatogether.org/OpposeSignatureMatching
Jimmy Patel-Nguyen, North Carolina Asian Americans Together, email@example.com
North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among Asian Americans and allies in North Carolina through civic engagement, leadership development, grassroots mobilization, and political participation. Learn more at www.ncaatogether.org
Facebook – facebook.com/ncaatogether | Twitter – @ncaatogether | Instagram – @ncaatogether