Automation for Petition Validation

Woman asking for petition signatures

Petition validation regulations ensure the legitimacy of the collected signatures for electoral purposes.  The opportunity to automate portions or all validation steps leads to an increase in participation from community members while maintaining integrity and process trust, all while limiting new expenses related to validation. 

Parascript prides itself as a leader in offering solutions used by multiple government agencies to tackle automation, capture document data, and prevent fraud. The same opportunities extend to petitions. Additionally, we partner with several government IT solutions providers to streamline procurement and implementation. 

The Problem With Current Petition Verification Process

Manual review is a common and labor-intensive process still used across much of the country. This approach requires not just staffing to accomplish, but staff with extensive training to ensure reliable evaluation of petitions. Any additional staffing is costly, but adding training increases the issue.

In contrast, budgets and headcount are stagnant or shrinking, even as the number of petitions and regulations directly impacting the process continues to increase.

Petition Process Steps Detailed - Opportunities for Full or Partial Automation

Multi-step processes contain multiple challenges and opportunities. Parascript understands this and will evaluate and tailor a solution to meet your challenge or project scope. Automate any or all steps to achieve unparalleled efficiency.

Raw Count and Final Count

The raw count is the tally of entries gathered by petition signature gatherers and is completed upon delivery of sheets. This provides the total number of entries gathered by volunteers to ensure the minimum was met. 

Compared to the raw count, the final count is the total number of complete entries accepted into the sample pool. Entries with missing information or crossed-out details are culled in this step. 

FoormXtra.AI provides full page data capture to automate counts.

Petition Sampling and Entry Review

Petition sampling involves sampling entries on a page and evaluating accuracy and authenticity in accordance to regulations. By sampling, officials can determine if a petition meets the necessary threshold of valid signatures efficiently.

Information provided by the signor on the petition must be compared to the elections database to ensure entry is legitimate. This means checking that the voter is registered within the geographic area and their name matches the district relevant to the petition. This step ensures information is not inaccurate which is common in some forms of forgery. 

FormXtra.AI modules connect to voter databases to compare and verify. Add on SignatureXpert.AI to compare collected signatures to database biometric data.

Signor Eligibility

Voter verification in relation to gathering signatures for a petition involves confirming that each signer is a registered voter within the relevant jurisdiction. This process ensures that the signatures collected are valid and legally acceptable, often including cross-referencing with voter databases to check for accuracy and prevent fraud. Effective voter verification is crucial for the legitimacy and success of the petition.

Signature Verification

Signature files are captured by signature pads at DMV when updating a license. The valuable biometric data is incorporated into voter registration for use in ballot validation.

Signatures are valuable biometric data and used by the banking and financial industry to verify identities and protect assets. 

Learn more about Parascript’s ASV Solution

County and State Specific Regulations

Out-of-the-box Parascript solutions are currently used for Vote-By-Mail and petition validation, but we know regulations vary between states and counties.

To overcome these challenges, we provide custom development to meet specific needs and to comply with regulatory requirements.

FormXtra.AI for Petitions - A Flexible Automation Solution

Parascript's FormXtra.AI intelligent document processing solution excels at meeting document capture needs thanks to it's flexible functionality. Our experts collaborate closely to understand your challenges, including limitations in adopting automation. We continuously enhance our modules to meet your goals and expand capabilities.

Full Page Data Capture

FormXtra.AI ingests scanned petition pages, captures complex tables, and accurately interprets data to validate:

  • Recognition of Petition Template
  • Validation of Petition Lines
  • Calculation of Valid Signature Count
  • Page Count Calculation
  • Output of Valid Signature and Page Counts 

Integrate Voter Roll Database

Connect FormXtra.AI with an established voter roll database and easily:

  • Verify Signor’s name, address, and other information required for the petition
  • Compares petition signature to image on file to authenticate
  • Validate that all information is correct

Detailed Data for Report Generation

Capture accurate and detailed data quickly for:

  • Provides raw data needed for customer workflow
  • Finding summary for problematic entries for review by election staff
  • Use data for recommendations for municipalities for the next steps, summary calculations for the number of signors, valid signors, and invalid signors
Door to door signature gathering for elections

Automated Signature Verification for Petitions

The traditional method of manually comparing signatures against voter records, a sufficient process long relied upon by election officials, has been effective over the years. However, this process is hindered by its time-consuming nature, resource-intensive requirements, and inability to scale without extensively trained staff. The need for improvement is imminent for large counties throughout the country.

Manual signature validation is unreliable and difficult to scale.

Unlike ballot counting, petition validation requires additional steps. Like ballot counting, each petition entry requires voter validation and signature verification at minimum. However, additional steps might be dictated by local legislation. They can include petition page counts, page entry count, and address verification. Rules around results vary too. Providing clerks and courts with invalid entry results with details are factors to consider. 

Automated Signature Verification (ASV) frees up staffer time by handling the bulk of low-concern verification tasks.

Automated Signature Verification (ASV) provides an effective solution to these challenges. For instance, Parascript’s ASV machine learning-based software compares one or more reference signatures from voter records with the signature on the petition to determine authenticity. This process offers several benefits:

Automated Signature Verification (ASV) provides a solution to this problem. Parascript ASV machine learning-based software takes one or more reference signatures from voter records and compares them with the signature on the ballot to determine authenticity. The process takes less than a second for each ballot. It also produces results that are not only more reliable than results achieved with even well-trained staff but are consistent, tamper-proof, and provide results that are easily reviewed when needed. Even if signatures look different due to changes over time, the software can adapt by looking at key, proven, and hard-to-detect characteristics.

SignatureXpert for Vote By Mail

Study Confirms ASV Accuracy

A study conducted by a Colorado county confirms the accuracy of SignatureXpert and SignatureXpert.AI for use in vote-by-mail systems. After envelopes were scanned and signatures were processed, signatures were either accepted or rejected and sent to a human for review based on whether or not they met a predefined operating point.

In the study, a summary and comparison of SignatureXpert and SignatureXpert.AI detail the success and efficiencies gained when using automated signature verification solutions made by Parascript. 

Parascript Solutions for Petitions

SignatureXpert.AI for Vote-By-Mail

SignatureXpert.AI is Parascript’s award-winning software that uses a number of machine learning techniques to provide the industry’s highest level of accuracy when it comes to automating the complex process of signature verification for elections. SignatureXpert.AI can identify when a signature is authentic even if there is significant variation between signatures on a ballot and those in a voter registration database. Our software allows for the most comprehensive and intelligent analysis of signature characteristics while taking into consideration the random variations that occur in signatures to ensure reliable results.