LA County Registrar is Not Following Current Signature Verification Laws According to Public Records Act Response

Monday, August 8th, 2022

LA County Registrar is Not Following Current Signature Verification Laws According to Public Records Act Response

(LOS ANGELES, CA) – According to training materials and procedures provided in response to public records act requests from the Recall DA George Gascon Campaign, the Los Angeles County Registrar is not following current laws for signature verification.

In 2020, California implemented emergency uniform guidelines for signature verification to ensure every vote is counted and prevent voter disenfranchisement.  In March 2022, the guidelines were made permanent by state law. The new guidelines apply equally to recall petitions.

Under the new law, any signature verification analysis begins with a basic presumption that the signature is in fact the voter’s signature.  If the initial reviewer determines a signature is not a match, the signature can only be rejected if two separate elections officials find beyond a reasonable doubt that the signature differs in multiple, significant, and obvious respects from all signatures in the voter’s registration record. (Cal. Code Regs. Tit., 2 § 20960.)

In other words, if there is any logical reason why a voter’s signature may be different from the voter’s record on file, the signature should not be rejected.  There are many reasons why a signature may differ.

However, according to records provided by the Registrar, the current process and training materials being utilized are outdated and call for a standard of review that does not comport with current law. For example, the materials call for a reviewer to reject a signature if there are “repeated small differences”, even if there are a “great number of general similarities”.

Today, the campaign alerted the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to these significant concerns. A detailed analysis of the law and the materials provided by the Registrar is outlined in the letter to the Board of Supervisors:

Click here to read.

“The outdated training materials and procedures provided by the Registrar, along with their denial of observation rights, raise grave concerns about the verification process.  It appears the standards being applied to verify recall signatures are different than those mandated under current law and used in other recent elections.  We remain confident that once a fair, transparent, and accurate verification process is implemented, it will ultimately determine enough signatures were submitted to qualify the recall.”

– The Recall DA George Gascon Campaign