Vegas reporter describes his LEGAL experiment finding 89% fail rate in ballot signature verification

A columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday described an experiment he conducted to test the efficiency of Nevada’s ballot signature-verification process which resulted in an 89-percent failure rate.

In an interview with Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, Victor Joecks said after continuing to hear reports about voting and ballot signature irregularities, he decided to conduct an experiment to test the “accuracy” of Nevada’s verification system.

According to the secretary of state’s office, “All mail ballots must be returned in an authorized ballot return envelope. … This signature is compared to the signature on file…and if the signature does not match, the ballot is rejected.”

But, Joecks said, the process appears to be badly broken.

“I wanted to test the accuracy of signature verification, and I had nine volunteers,” he explained. “I signed their name as it appeared on the ballot. I took a picture of it and then I sent it to them and they copied my signature onto their ballot return envelope. That’s how it was legal but it was still a test, it wasn’t their signature.”

He said the experiment mimicked what might happen if he had found the ballots discarded somewhere and decided to vote fraudulently.

“Eight of the nine ballots when through,” he said. “So, signature verification which has been built up as this infallible security measure had an 89 percent failure rate.”

MacCallum noted that her signature style changes depending on the situation — such as signing electronically — and is no longer the same as it was when she first signed her voter registration forms years ago.

She then asked Joecks what other issues he found while conducting his experiment and what solutions he would suggest.

“The problem is we just don’t know how many problems there are,” with current voting procedures, which include outdated voter registration rolls that contribute to the risk of fraud.

“The county registrar in Clark County,” home to Las Vegas, “said they don’t have anyone looking at voter fraud issues,” Joecks continued. “So we simply don’t know how widespread the problem is.”

“That’s certainly not proof of widespread fraud, but what my experiment showed, what some of the research the Trump campaign is coming up with, shows that widespread fraud was certainly possible,” he noted further.

“The lack of interest by … election officials is simply concerning, and frankly irresponsible. It starts by digging into the data that’s already there, not just assuming that the election was conducted honestly and with integrity, but going to try and find out if anyone cheated and not expect them to come admit it after the fact,” he said.

The results of Joecks’ experiment came after Clark County election officials announced Monday that they were tossing out the results of an extremely close county commissioner race after finding too many voting discrepancies.

“We have found discrepancies that we can’t explain that would cast a doubt on whether or not that margin of victory is solid,” said Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria, in reference to the District C race.

In a report to county commissioners, Gloria said officials discovered nearly 1,000 ballots that had “discrepancies in tracking, moving from signature to Manuel signature verifications, as well as in the ballot curing process.”

The decision nulls some 153,000 votes and sends the race that was ultimately separated by just 10 votes to a special election next month.

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Jon Dougherty


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