Signature Challenges

Signature challenges occur when a voter does not sign the back of the ballot return envelope or when the signature on the return envelope does not match the signature(s) in their voter registration record. Any voter with a signature challenge can fix the issue and have their ballot counted by filling out and returning a form to Douglas County Elections before the day the election results are certified.

Why is there an issue with my signature

  • Most signature issues occur when the signature on the ballot return envelope does not match the signature(s) in that voter’s voter registration record or when the voter simply forgets to sign the ballot return envelope.
  • For every ballot that is returned during an election, Douglas County Elections staff compare the signature on the back of the return envelope to the signature(s) in the voter registration record for that voter. This process is required by Washington State law in order to make sure that the voter the ballot was mailed to is the voter who filled out and returned the ballot. Any ballot return envelope with a signature that does not match is flagged and reviewed by a second staff member before being challenged and set aside until the voter returns a signature challenge form. 

How do I fix my signature challenge?

  • You can fix your signature challenge by filling out and returning a missing signature form or a signature update form  to Douglas County Elections. 
  • Douglas County Elections mails a signature challenge form to every voter with a signature challenge issue. 

A campaign or other political organization contacted me to let me know there was an issue with my signature. How did they get that information?

  • Under Washington State law, whether or not a voter has turned in their ballot and whether or not they have a signature issue is considered public information. Candidates and other organizations can request this information to see which voters in Douglas County have outstanding signature issues. Some of these organizations then use this information to try to help voters fix their signature issues so their ballots can be counted.
  • Please note that Douglas County Elections never provides anyone with information on how you voted, just whether or not your ballot has been returned. Douglas County Elections also never provides anyone with information on your phone number or email address. If you are not comfortable with a campaign or any other organization returning your signature challenge form for you, you can always return your form directly to Douglas County Elections.