06 November 2012

Signature Required

Scarecrow put our ballots in the mail a couple of days ago. All voting is by mail in Washington state, which is very convenient, although I admit I miss the ritual of going to the polls in person, carving out time before or after work, braving crappy November weather, crossing paths with friends and neighbors, waiting for a little stanchion to open up so I can step up and mark my ballot. With a mail-in ballot, Scarecrow can fill in the circles for me. Voting is easy. The tricky part is signing the outside envelope, to assure the powers that be that the enclosed ballot was submitted by a registered voter.

Yesterday we were notified that the Powers That Be are not too happy with the signature on my envelope.

I understand that. I'm not too happy with it, either. My hands first went numb in spring of 2002, and signing my name has been a problem for me ever since. Some of that time I could do it, kinda; the result just didn't look like my signature. Now I have trouble making a mark on paper, even if Scarecrow shoves a pen into my fist and moves a piece of paper underneath. It does not look like a signature. It does not even look much like an X.

If I ever gave any thought, before I became disabled, to the ways MS could make your life interesting (which, I admit, I never did), not being able to sign my name would not have wound up on my top 10 list. Or my top 25 list. Or probably my top 100 list. I don't think it would've ever occurred to me. But it's a real problem. It surely is.

Really, you wouldn't think it would be that hard. I can't be the first person with this problem. I just need a way for Scarecrow to write my name for me. (He has terrible handwriting, and although mine was never that great, the thought that anyone would take that signature for something I would've written causes me almost physical pain, but I'm willing to cope. That's how far I'd go.) There's the whole power of attorney thing, and making Scarecrow my attorney-in-fact makes sense, but it's kind of scary. It says I can no longer manage my own affairs, when really the thing I can't do is write my name on a piece of paper. It's not that I don't trust Scarecrow to act for me. I do, absolutely. It's just a control thing, I guess.

We're supposed to close on a refi here pretty soon. In case you've never had the pleasure, closing a mortgage loan entails signing your name 8267 times. I'm really looking forward to this.


  1. But you voted, and that's what matters. Re: the refi, I had to sign in my brother's stead many years ago, and the # of signatures required was daunting. I understand your pain.

  2. This resonates with where I am right now. I just wrote on my post how my signature no longer resembles what it once was. I'm with you on the control issue. I'm wondering if I were to find a former signature of mine, could I get a stamp made? Is it legal? I'm going to look into it.

  3. My signature is so bad right now I don't even recognize it! I have to try really hard to get it close to my drivers lic one. Thank goodness I just opened new bank account so at least the scribble matches close enough - a scribble is a scribble LOL

  4. Isn't the absentee ballot the best?

    So, about the signature. I can't attest to this, however, I've heard (on an episode of White Collar) that if you turn the signature upside down, it's easier to reproduce. Apparently the brain views it as a graphic object that you're attempting to draw rather than writing.

    Power of Attorney. Hmm, I'm thinking that my mother still has P of A for me from when I set that up before brain surgery. Bet she has no clue! We'll keep it that way.