Bill to fix vote-by-mail rules clears first committee

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A bill that would allow Florida voters to fix signatures on vote-by-mail ballots cleared its first House committee Thursday.

HB 105, sponsored by Tampa Democrat Janet Cruz, would change the process for when signatures on ballots don’t match up to the signature on file with local supervisors of elections.

Current law gives voters the opportunity to correct their ballot if they forget to sign it, but the same courtesy isn’t extended to mismatched signatures.

Bill cosponsor and Dania Beach Democrat Evan Jenne said ailments such as Parkinson’s disease or vision loss can cause signatures to change rapidly, and HB 109 would protect the rights of increasing number of voters who mail in ballots.

The bill would give supervisors of elections leeway to decide how they want to contact voters, whether it be through mail or email, door knocking or phone calls.

HB 105 cleared the House Oversight, Transparency & Administration Subcommittee with a unanimous vote and now heads to the House Government Accountability Committee. A similar bill in the Senate, SB 544 by Democratic Sen. Oscar Braynon, has yet to be heard in committee.

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Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.