Signatures on absentee ballots are imperative

Ever noticed a retail cashier checking the signature on the back of your credit or debit card to make sure it matched the signature you provided at the point of sale, and felt grateful he or she took the extra step to confirm your identity? After all such a step helps protect you against credit card fraud. It helps protect your money. Few would argue such a step is intrusive. In fact, some of those who do are those frustrated by the increased attention on identity theft, as it makes it harder for them to steal your money and credibility.

Why in the world, then, would anyone be bothered by an Associated Press report that shows Ohio’s counties rejected more than 6,500 absentee ballot applications last year because a signature was either missing or didn’t match other signatures on file for the applicant?

Verifying one’s identity when it comes time to exercise the right and responsibility to vote might not SEEM as personally important as verifying identities at a cash register, but in terms of the big picture –safeguarding our state’s election system — it is.

Good for those boards of election who took the time to double check application signature lines, as a measure to protect against election fraud.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is correct that “election integrity and voter access can certainly coexist,” and he knows that is not accomplished by making it easier for fraudsters to infiltrate the system.

Requiring a verifiable signature is not too much to ask.