The American Civil Liberties Union sued New Hampshire on Wednesday after the state invalidated the absentee ballots of hundreds of voters in the November 2016 election, including a blind woman, because of mismatched signatures, the civil rights group said. The lawsuit was brought against William Gardner, the state’s secretary of state, and New Hampshire’s voter signature-matching law, which the ACLU said violates the Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act. “People should not be denied their fundamental right to vote because of penmanship but that’s exactly what is happening in New Hampshire,” Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said in a statement. The state said it could not yet comment on the lawsuit.
“We haven’t had a chance to review the court filing today, and until we do that we cannot make a comment,” David Scanlan, New Hampshire’s deputy secretary of state, said in a phone interview.
The ACLU’s complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, said people with disabilities are more likely to have signatures that have changed over time, an inability to sign the same way twice or require someone’s help to sign.