ORLANDO, Fla. - With just five days before the election, there's a voting controversy brewing after hundreds of absentee ballots have been thrown out because Florida lawmakers passed a new law to prevent voter fraud.
In Volusia County, officials have already thrown out 153 ballots, because the signature on the ballot did not match the one on the registration card.
“To be told my signature didn't match, it was a shock,” said voter Bill Archer.
Archer registered to vote in Volusia County 30 years ago. He’s since had multiple strokes and now has to sign with his left hand instead of his right hand, and his signature now looks nothing like it used to.
In the last election, workers would compare the signature on his request for an absentee ballot to see if they matched.
But under a Florida law passed last year, election workers must compare the signature to the one they have on file for the voter registration, even if it has not been updated in decades.
“My sleep has been disrupted, I fretted all night long,” Archer said. “I wasn't asleep until 2, 3 in the morning, worrying about this."
Elections supervisor Ann McFall said now that Archer’s ballot has been rejected, there is nothing he can do, according to Florida law.
“It breaks our heart,” said McFall.
The law especially impacts the elderly since their handwriting changes, according to Channel 9’s Lori Brown.
McFall said the elderly should update their signatures every election.
“Sometimes the people are very elderly, and it could be the last time the vote, and it's sad,” said McFall.
Archer said he will vote in person next time, if he is able to.
The Volusia County elections supervisor said her office has thrown out ballots in the past for mismatched signatures, but she's never had a bad signature linked to organized voter fraud.
Some absentee ballots thrown out in Florida due to signature comparisons
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