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Notary Bulletin

Court Cases Highlight The Importance Of Proper Notarizations In Democratic Process

With the nation gearing up for the 2012 election cycle, a number of election-related legal cases involving improper notarizations are coming to light. Notaries in many states are asked to authenticate a variety of documents in election cycles, and these cases illustrate how important proper notarial procedures are to the democratic process.

In one case, a Nassau County, New York, judge threw a local candidate off the ballot because of notarization problems with his ballot petitions. According to local press reports, a number of petitions were ruled invalid because Notaries had written the wrong town, the wrong date, or had signed with an illegible signature on notarial certificates.

In another case, a candidate for the Westchester County, New York, Legislature was also removed from the ballot due to notarial issues with his candidacy petitions. A local judge ruled that two Notaries helping with the campaign had failed to administer oaths to many signers, as required by state law.

And a pair of former Detroit-area political workers allegedly forged and fraudulently notarized nomination documents for three people — without their knowledge—to be added to a local ballot as Tea Party candidates. One individual is being charged with three counts of perjury and three counts of violating the Michigan Notary Public Act, and another individual is being charged with three counts of perjury.

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