“Digitized signatures” will be accepted for verification under certain conditions. A digitized signature is created using a touchscreen or similar device by which the signor uses his finger or stylus to create a human readable signature that can be checked against signatures on file at county voter registration and election offices.
- Digitized signatures must include accompanying documentation verifying the identity of the signor and verifying the purpose for which the signor endorsed the petition. For example, DocuSign software can be used to produce a Certificate of Completion document for each signature which identifies, among other things, the identity of the signor and purpose for which he or she create the digitized signature, i.e., to nominate the candidate for the election.
- Digitized signatures must be placed on a petition page that meets the form requirements in S.C. Code §7-11-80 (nominating petitions) and any other specific form requirements in state law for the various other types of petitions. The accompanying verification documentation should be submitted separately.
- Use of digitized signatures is not without risk. While digitized signatures will still be comparted against a voter’s signature on file like any pen and ink signature, the method of signing on a touchscreen using one’s finger may generate a signature which differs substantially in appearance from one made with a pen. The petitioner assumes the risk that such differences may render the signature unverifiable.
While digitized signatures will be accepted under the guidelines above, copies of traditional petition pages will NOT be accepted for verification. Petitioners must submit original petition pages for signatures collected using traditional pen and ink methods.
“Digital signatures” will NOT be accepted. “Digital signatures” are a unique “hash,” “code” or “digital fingerprint” created using a mathematical algorithm for which the signer has a “key.” While digital signatures can be used legally for other purposes, the digital signature process does not produce a human-readable signature, created by the signor, that can be verified against traditional signatures on file at county voter registration and elections offices.