The Personal Power of the Pen

Originally posted on and written by Marnie Turman

Ah, the power of the pen! 

A personally signed letter or note can push the undecided voter into your corner, reinforce the commitment of a voter pledged to you, or cast a shadow of a doubt in the mind of someone committed to your opponent.  Studies show a personally signed letter will be read more frequently, kept longer and generate more activity than letters with digital, scanned or printed signatures.  As good as digital, scanned or pre printed signatures on a letters may look, most people can easily tell they were not hand signed.  The written signature also increases your chance for a monetary contribution. 

A person’s signature puts a personal stamp on communication; it gives integrity to correspondence says Tom Kiley, Sales Manager for Automated Signature Technology.   He should know.  His company sells and rents signature machines or autopens, as they are called, and provides signing services to politicians and campaign strategists as well as fundraisers, business executives, federal, state and local government officials, universities and VIPs.   His company’s machines have helped determine the outcome of federal, state and local elections.

“More often than not the candidate who uses a signature machine in the campaign ends up the winner,” says Dana Turman, owner of Automated Signature Technology and the daughter of the late Robert DeShazo who invented the first autopen way back in the 1940s.  Kiley adds, “The value of a personally signed letter is enormous, especially today when very few people take the time to actually sign something.  All of our customers would like to sign all correspondence personally but the time it takes can be overwhelming.  That’s where our autopens come in.”

Pen & ink signature machines give signatures the same look that you would get if you signed the document yourself.   Signature machines such as the SigTech  800 manufactured by Automated Signature Technology can sign someone’s name up to 400 times in an hour.  The machine can use virtually any type of pen and NEVER gets writer’s cramp.  If you have a favorite ballpoint pen, the machine can sign with it.  When you run your finger under the signature you can actually feel the impression made from the tip of the pen as it pressed into the paper.  When the autopen signs with a felt tip pen, traces of ink may bleed through to the back of the paper.   A speed control allows the machine to sign a signature at the same, ideal speed each and every time.  Pen pressure can be adjusted to vary the look of the signature.  It’s little things like these that make the difference between an original signature and one from a pen & ink signature machine almost undetectable.

Although Kiley, Turman, and their company guard their customers’ confidentiality and steadfastly refuse to name names, it is common knowledge and, in some cases, public record that signature machines have been used by elected officials for decades.  It is only natural for these officials to count on signature machines when election time rolls around.

Your election is not big enough for a signature machine?  Not so says Kiley.  “Automated Signature Technology has helped local grass roots level candidates, big city politicians, state candidates and federal office seekers.  Short-term signature machine rentals or our signing services are economical ways to get your message to the voters with your personal signature attached.”

Ah, the power of the autopen!

What it comes down to is personally signing everything takes time and costs money.  It’s also very effective.  Political leaders around the world use autopens to give their correspondence the “personal touch” and save time, money and effort by not chaining them to a desk enduring the drudgery of repetitious signing.  More importantly it frees the signer’s time and allows for more activity on the campaign trail, more concentration on strategy sessions and a chance to actually attend your daughter’s softball game.

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