Huge Win!! Arizona Court Rules State Violated Law With ‘Unlawful Signature Matching Process,’ A Big Victory For Election Integrity Advocates

The above image is of an election booth. (mrolands / Getty Images)

(Western Journal) The public interest group Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections declared it had secured a “massive win” for election integrity following a Friday Arizona court ruling in its favor.

In March, RITE sued Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes arguing his office’s Elections Procedures Manual violates the law regarding the mail-in ballot signature verification process.


“While state law requires county recorders to match mail-ballot signatures with signatures in the voter’s ‘registration record,’ the Secretary instructed them to use a broader and less reliable universe of comparison signatures,” the group said in a Monday news release.

“That means the Secretary was requiring ballots to be counted despite using a signature that did not match anything in the voter’s registration record. This was a clear violation of state law,” RITE asserted.

In a Friday ruling rejecting a motion to dismiss the case filed by Fontes and the group Mi Familia Vota, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge John Napper agreed with RITE’s conclusion concerning the law.

The court said that the “statute is clear and unambiguous” requiring “the recorder to review the voter’s registration card” and not other documents with the voter’s signature.

Napper further noted, “There is no ambiguity in the statute or process.”

Further, the secretary’s signature-match process in the Elections Procedures Manual unlawfully “contradicts the plain language” of Arizona state law by permitting signature comparison with documents that have “nothing to do with the act of registering.”



Derek Lyons, president and CEO of RITE, responded court’s ruling, saying in a news release, “RITE will build on this victory to continue to fight in court for elections that are administered according to democratically enacted laws, not illegal partisan commands.”

“This is a huge victory toward securing the elections that Arizonans deserve, which are elections they can trust,” Lyons added.

Kari Lake, the 2022 Republican nominee for governor, is currently suing Fontes and Maricopa County officials regarding the signature verification process the county employed in November’s election.

At a trial in May, an expert witness for Lake testified that based on his examination of computer user logs he determined that approximately 70,000 mail-in ballots were reviewed for signature matches in less than two seconds.

And that seven of the ballot reviewers had a 100 percent approval rate.

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