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UTAH SUPREME COURT VALIDATES USE OF E-SIGNATURES IN ELECTORAL PROCESS [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-22-10 03:52 PM
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UTAH SUPREME COURT VALIDATES USE OF E-SIGNATURES IN ELECTORAL PROCESS
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UTAH SUPREME COURT VALIDATES USE OF E-SIGNATURES IN ELECTORAL PROCESS

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY, UT The Utah Supreme Court today issued an opinion validating the use of e-signatures in the electoral process. The Courts opinion, the first of its kind nationwide, has the potential to increase significantly the ability of independent candidates to access the general election ballot, and thus to increase the opportunity for minority viewpoints to be heard and considered in election years.

This case raises substantial issues of statutory and constitutional law that affect not just every Utahn, but also every voter nationwide, said ACLU of Utah Legal Director Darcy M. Goddard. We are pleased that the Court understood and upheld the validity of e-signatures under both statutory and common law. Mr. Andersons case is an important step towards increasing participatory democracy in this country through the use of new technology.

On March 18, 2010, Farley Anderson presented to the Lieutenant Governor a nominating petition signed by over 1,000 Utah voters, as is required by the Election Law for independent candidates wishing to run for statewide office. The Lieutenant Governor rejected Mr. Andersons petition because a small portion of the signatures were e-signatures. The Lieutenant Governor argued that those were not signatures under Utah State law.

"Since the earliest days of the common law, a 'signature' was any mark that the signing individual intended to be his 'signature,'" said ACLU cooperating attorney Brent V. Manning. "That was true whether the mark was on paper, on wood, on a wall, or on a cow." According to Mr. Manning, an e-signature is equally valid so long as the signer intends it to be his signature. "Utah's legislature and courts already recognized the legitimacy of e-signatures in a variety of contexts," said Manning. We are gratified that the Supreme Court rejected the Lieutenant Governor's attempt effectively to re-write existing law by seeking to impose additional and unconstitutional requirements for independent candidates to access the ballot."


More:
http://www.acluutah.org/PR062210ESig.html
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