To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I am writing in the hopes that you can enlighten voters on how to sign petitions. Clerks are getting petitions now and I have already had to disqualify signatures because I could not read their names or their addresses.
It is important to sign legibly so the signature can be read. Sign using your full name such as Kathleen, not Kathy or just K. and the last name.
If the voter has terrible handwriting they can sign their name and print their name above their signature on the same line.
If the voter is a Jr. or a Sr. or a III they need to sign with this after their name. When certifying names if there are two voters with the same name and not a Jr. or Sr. listed after their names I have to disqualify their signature.
Voters can only sign for themselves not for a husband or a child, etc.
Voters also need to put in their street address not a P.O.Box. You cannot live in a P.O. Box.
It is very frustrating for clerks to try to figure out the signatures or addresses if they are written illegibly. Some clerks have hundreds of petitions to certify. Having this problem takes extra time to research the names and addresses to find out who signed the petition.
If voters are going to take the time to sign petitions they should sign correctly so the vote will count. If clerks can’t figure out the signature, or the address, they have to cross out the signature and the vote will not count.
These are simple rules to follow, but some voters do not and it may cost their candidate his/her place on the ballot because he/she did not get enough signatures. Or, a petition will not be put on a ballot because it did not get the amount of signatures needed to be placed there.
All city and town clerks would be thrilled if voters would sign correctly and make our jobs less difficult when it comes to certifying signatures on petitions.
SUZANNE M. SCARPA
The author is the town clerk of Lee.