Seventy percent of the mail-in ballots rejected by Arlington election officials in the July 7 County Board special election were because people did not have a witness sign the envelope the ballot was returned in.
Seventy-one of the 101 rejected mail-in-absentee ballots were eliminated for that reason, county elections chief Gretchen Reinemeyer told Electoral Board members on July 29.
The confusion among the electorate may have been understandable; the requirement to have a witness sign the envelope had not been enforced statewide for the June 23 Republican U.S. Senate primary, but a signature was required for the Arlington race two weeks later.
(The 101 mail-in-absentee ballots that were rejected – for no signatures and other reasons – represented about 1 percent of all mail-in-absentee ballots cast in that race, and had no bearing on a three-way race that was won handily by Democrat Takis Karantonis.)
State officials have yet to determine requirements for witness signatures on absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 – “we just don’t know,” Reinemeyer said – but county election officials said they would keep the public in the loop.
“We hate to see people’s ballots rejected,” Electoral Board chairman Charlene Bickford said.
• • •
Find full editions of the Sun Gazette, and bonus features, at https://sungazette.news.