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Election Dissection

Verifying signatures: not as easy as it sounds

The New York Times published an interesting exercise — having handwriting experts sort through actual and forged signatures, and explaining the subtle differences. This is such a key security feature for our elections, and the reality can be tricky.

It was fascinating to see the discussion of each variation on the signatures, and what small differences suggest. In the end, the expert got it right, but only after comparing the signatures with all of the variations on file from the actual voter, not just the initial signature. You can see why.

The signature issue has come up in conversations with our experts at Election Dissection. There's a possibility of people's signatures changing over time. It's especially an issue with young people who might register to vote for the first time in high school and not update their registration for years. Does your signature look like it did in high school? Or even 10 years ago?

The Times set up a fun interactive at the top of the story: a chance to test your own handwriting recognition skills. I passed, but it wasn't easy!

See the story for yourself and take the quiz.

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