Peter La Follette v. Alex Padilla
The ACLU of Nothern California filed suit against Secretary of State Alex Padilla for invalidating the vote-by-mail ballots of tens of thousands of voters without warning. At issue is a state law that allows election officials — who have no handwriting-analysis expertise — to reject a vote-by-mail ballotwithout giving notice to the voter, if they think the signature on the ballot envelope does not match the one they have in the voter’s registration file. Nothing in the law tells voters they have to sign their ballot envelopes in any particular way; and voters are not informed that their ballots have been thrown out.
In California, tens of thousands of eligible voters’ ballots are discarded each election cycle — with more than 45,000 ballots discarded in the November 2016 election alone due to a signature mismatch. The lawsuit asks that voters be notified of any signature concerns and given an opportunity to fix it before their votes are discarded. It was filed by ACLU National, the ACLU of Northern California, and Cooley LLP.
CA Voters: To find out if your Nov 2016 ballot was accepted
1) Go to https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/
2) Click on “My Voter Status” button on right side of page
3) Click again on My Voter Status
4) Enter name, DL #, last 4 of SSN, and DOB
5) Scroll down to “Voting History” and select November 2016 election
6) Click “Show Status”
If your vote wasn’t counted, call our hotline and let us know. 415-621-2488
On October 12, 2017, the Court of Appeal issued an order stating that it would not hear the case. We expect to continue litigating the issue in a different court.