Scammers using ballot signature issue in ruse

Voters who had an issue with the signature on their ballots should be wary of individuals asking for personal information to rectify the problem, according to officials from the county elections office.

The Island County Auditor’s Office recently sent letters to those people whose signatures didn’t match the one on their voter registration, and it included information on how to rectify the issue.

Some residents, however, reported being asked for their Social Security numbers, birth dates and other personal information under the guise of fixing a signature issue on a ballot, according to Michele Reagan, county elections supervisor.

“That’s something our office would never ask for,” Reagan said.

The elections office received at least a dozen calls reporting this issue, most of which came in Thursday, she said. Some residents reported individuals coming to their doors to get the information and some received phone calls.

The auditor’s office does not send officials to homes for this purpose.

Election officials are mandated by state law to follow the letters with a call to remind voters to send in the documents “curing” their signature; however, these calls are never anything more than a reminder, Reagan said.

Each year, several hundred ballots can’t be counted right away because of an issue with the signature, she said. Letters are sent to the affected voters with documents to sign that will verify or “cure” the signature, which may have changed for some reason, and the ballots will then be counted.

The list of voters whose ballots had a signature issue is public record, Reagan said. It isn’t illegal to contact these individuals and offer to bring their forms to the office. But some voters should be cautious.

Reagan also contacted the sheriff’s office to inform them of the issue.

“We want to shout it from the rooftops, ‘don’t give people your personal information,’” Reagan said.