Electronic signature policies could be solution to possible voter fraud

Mary Ellen Power, April 11, 2014
voter fraud

Officials in North Carolina are exploring the possibility that rampant voter fraud has had an impact on state and local elections. It is unclear, at this point, if findings in recent investigations point to voter fraud or precinct error, but some experts believe that electronic signature software could be a solution to the problems organizations are facing, According to a recent report from The Voter Update, the North Carolina State Board of Elections is still investigating the possibility of fraud, but some believe that investing in better digital technologies could be the solution regardless of whether fraud or human error are the problem.

Voter Fraud in North Carolina

Recent elections in North Carolina have had results that created questions about the validity of the process. The report explained that recent investigations found some disconcerting issues in the voting process in the state. The research found that there were 765 exact matches for name, date of birth and last four digits of Social Security Number among individuals who recorded a vote in North Carolina and another state during the 2012 general election. Furthermore, there 35,750 possible matches based on only name and date of birth.

Kim Strach, director of the elections board, told audiences at a presentation that while the data, which stems from the comparison of more than 101 million records, could be an indicator of fraud, the news source explained. However, fraud is not the only possibility. The results of the study point to the possibility of precinct error as well, as problems with properly identifying people who come to vote could play a major role in the types of duplicate information that were found. Dealing with this problem is key, however, as some of the recorded voters are people who are on record as having died prior to the election. "We don't think the dead are voting," Strach told audiences at the event. "We are going to see if people did in fact vote for these individuals, or if there is another reason. And I do want to stress that the reason could be precinct error. A lot goes on in a precinct and someone could attribute someone to the wrong person."

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Solving errors and preventing voter fraud

Further investigation could prove whether or not the incidents in question were voter fraud. However, one thing is clear - the problems need to be dealt with. What is less certain is how to do it. Some discussions have emerged around the idea of using various identification methods to eliminate error, perhaps forcing voters to bring certain forms of ID when they vote. However, Angela Bryant, Senator for Nash County, told The Voter Update that people talking about using IDs are missing some of the points being made by Strach and other members of the elections board.

Bryant told the news source that Strach and others are advocating for technology as the solution to voting problems. E-signature software and photographs of people voting would allow automatic comparison between voter information taken and government records to verify a person's identity.

Using e-signatures for secure authentication

E-signatures are not so much a technology as they are a way to use processes to verify that somebody has agreed to a contract or signed a document. The technology plays an integral role in improving process efficiency in a variety of sectors and can be used to verify a person's identify and officially record their activities. This can prove vital in voting, but is equally important in any sector where many official documents need to be signed. E-signatures can pay dividends in a wide range of sectors. To learn more about how they could help your company, check out our white paper featuring three distinct use cases.