Judge Grants Extended Deadline For Election Ballots With Invalid Signatures

A federal judge says voters whose midterm ballots have invalid signatures will have until the weekend to correct them.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker handed down the Saturday deadline decision early Thursday.

In his decision, Walker ordered Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to direct county supervisors of elections to give affected voters until Saturday at 5 p.m. to fix their ballots. 

"The supervisors of elections shall allow mismatched signature ballots to be cured in the same manner and with the same proof a mismatched signature ballot could have otherwise been cured before Nov. 5, 2018, at 5 p.m.," Walker wrote.

Democrats were asking Walker to throw out Florida's existing signature-match law. 

They said untrained experts should not be allowed to decide if someone's signature on a mail-in ballot doesn't match the signature included on a registration form that could be years old.

The lawsuit is one of a half-dozen related to Florida's ongoing recount that involves three statewide races, including U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson's race against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

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