Information for VotersSignature 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 Benton County Elections before the day the election results are certified.
In each election, we compare the signature on your return envelope to the signature on your voter registration record. Per state law, a ballot is only opened and counted if we can match it to the signature on your registration record. Those with that are missing a signature or have a signature that does not match are considered challenged and are held uncounted until the issue is resolved. Keeping your signature up to date with us can help you avoid an issue with your signature in the future. We encourage you to take a moment to fill out a Signature Update Form or Voter Registration Form so we can capture an updated signature for you.
All voters who have their signature challenged are sent a letter that explains the issue and includes a signature challenge form along with a postage-paid return envelope they can use to return the form. If the voter has not fixed their signature issue 3 days before the deadline and has provided a phone number to Benton County Elections, they will receive a phone call notifying them that there is an issue with their signature and asking them to contact Benton County Elections for more information.
Make Sure Your Ballot Was Counted
Check the Status of Your Ballot
You can always see whether or not your ballot has been counted by checking the Ballot Tracker tab on the VoteWA website. Check Ballot Status
Frequently Update Your Signature
The signatures in your voter registration record may be old and no longer accurate. Signatures can naturally change over time, so if the only signature in your voter registration record is a few years old it may no longer reflect your current signature. You can add a new signature to your voter registration record by filling out a voter registration form . If you have a Washington State driver's license or Washington State ID card, you can also update your registration online , which will add the signature from your driver's license or state ID card to your voter registration record.
What is a Signature Discrepancy
For every ballot that is returned during an election, Benton 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.
If you have any more questions, please contact the Benton County Elections Division.