Republican representatives raising questions about the verifiability of signatures on absentee ballots are onto something. Signature match is too subjective; too many election officials spend far too much time verifying signatures on absentee ballots. But those representatives and state officials who want to replace signatures with copies of photo IDs enclosed with the ballot are wrong, as well.
Last week Gabriel Sterling, the secretary of state’s chief operations officer, explained how several other states ensure absentee ballots are submitted by a legal voter without resorting to signature match.
Simply require absentee voters to include their driver’s license number (or their Georgia ID number), along with the issue and the expiration dates. No need for a Social Security number, which no elections official ever needs to see, period! These three numbers are within easy access of every Georgia voter in their wallets. This solution will not disenfranchise any elderly, high-propensity voters who might not vote at all if they have to figure out how to make a pdf, locate a printer or travel somewhere to get an ID copied before they vote absentee.
At a time when Georgia is looking more like a battleground state than ever, this simple fix helps all Georgia voters and instills more confidence in our elections on both sides of the aisle. Let’s tell Georgia officials to come up with simple, elegant solutions to a made-up problem and stop with this clumsy, vote-suppressing plan regarding photo IDs.