State of Texas

Texas Signature Matching Challenge

Richardson v. Flores

Lawsuit filed on behalf of voters, MOVE Texas Civic Fund, the League of Women Voters of Texas, Austin Justice Coalition and Coalition of Texans with Disabilities challenging the state’s signature verification process for mail-in ballots. In order for a mail-in ballot to be accepted, untrained elections officials match the signature on the outer envelope to one on the ballot application or another signature on file. The plaintiffs argue that, because the process lacks uniform standards, does not give voters advanced notice that their ballot was rejected and a meaningful opportunity to cure and is more likely to disenfranchise voters with disabilities, the system violates the 14th Amendment, Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. The district court granted injunctive relief for the 2020 election, setting guidelines for signature matching. The Texas secretary of state appealed this to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the district court’s finding after holding the secretary is protected by sovereign immunity.

On Aug. 13, the plaintiffs filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court to hear an appeal of the 5th Circuit’s decision. On Feb. 21, the Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs’ petition for a writ of certiorari, meaning the Texas secretary of state is no longer a defendant in the case. Litigation is ongoing in the district court against other defendants. On Sept. 7, 2023, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their remaining claims, thereby ending litigation.

Case Documents (district Court)

Case Documents (5th Circuit)

Case Documents (U.s. supreme court)

Last updated: