Ballot signature verification starts in JACO

Medford, Ore. — As election day gets closer, hundreds of Oregonians have already made their decision.

Jackson County’s Elections Office started the first phase of looking at the ballots today.

It’s called signature verification.

The elections office estimates the temporary election workers have verified signatures for more than 10,000 ballots Wednesday alone.

Voters are dropping off their ballots at the Jackson County Elections Office, but their results won’t be seen until November 2nd.

“We want to ensure the person who submitted that on the outside of the envelope has signed it, and is the person who we already have in the system as voting that,” Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker said.

Walker has temporary workers checking signatures all day long.

After finished ballots are received from the community, they are put through a sorter which takes a picture of the signature on the envelope.

Then it’s loaded into a digital system.

“You get a husband and wife that may accidentally sign each other’s ballot envelopes and that’s very common, but we catch that in the signature verification process,” Walker said.

The signature on the ballot is compared to the signature on the voter registration card.

It goes through three separate reviews to make sure it’s verifiable.

“99 percent of the ballots are going to go through good on the back side of the sorter and be sorted into individual precinct order,” Walker said.

But the signatures that can’t be verified?

Those are called “signature challenge ballots”.

Walker says the office will send a post card in the mail to those who had unclear signatures on their ballot.

Signatures will continue to be verified until the day after the election on November 9th.

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