Why your vote may not count, and what you can do about it - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Why your vote may not count, and what you can do about it

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TAMPA (FOX 13) - Hundreds of registered Florida voters have been casting ballots that don't get counted. They take the time to fill out, and mail in their ballots -- but a simple problem is causing their ballots to get rejected.

By law, the signatures on mail-in ballots must be compared to signatures on voter registration forms. And if the signatures do not match, votes are thrown out.

This can be a problem for disabled voters who have difficulty maintaining a consistent signature, as well as many other voters whose signatures have changed over time.

Canvassing reports across the Tampa Bay region show more than 900 votes were not counted in the 2012 Presidential race due to signature variations.

That includes Margaret Mallon, whose signature changed after she had a stroke.

"Well, it hurts because I've been doing it (voting) for so long," said Mallon. "I'm really disappointed."

Election offices send notices to individuals when their signatures don't match, and supervisors in the Tampa Bay area say they have made progress in reducing the number of ballots rejected due to signature variations in recent years.

They continue to urge voters to make sure they have an accurate signature on file.

"They may have been registered to vote 20 to 30 years ago and their signature today looks nothing like the signature when they registered to vote," said Hillsborough supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. "It's very important for people to keep updated registration forms with signatures on them."

If you think you have an outdated signature on file, you should reach out to your local supervisor of elections:

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