The issue of faulty signatures, especially on mail-in ballots, has emerged as a central point of contention in the county-by-county recounts taking place in Florida, with lawsuits spinning off the 2018 election like tornadoes off a hurricane.
On Thursday, Judge Mark Walker of the Federal District Court in Tallahassee ruled that voters whose ballots were invalidated by mismatches would have until 5 p.m. Saturday to resolve the problem. The new deadline would apply to just over 4,000 rejected ballots that could now be counted.
“This should give sufficient time, within the state’s and counties’ current administrative constraints, for Florida’s voters to ensure their votes will be counted,” he wrote.
Ruling the state law unconstitutional, he wrote that the county election officials could reject the ballots “with no standards, an illusory process to cure, and no process to challenge the rejection.”
Many of the ballots given a second chance probably belong to traditionally Democratic voters, especially young people. Still, they would not be enough for Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat seeking re-election, to overcome a 12,562-vote lead by Gov. Rick Scott, his Republican challenger, without further gains.