Wednesday, July 7, 2010

You Never Know What Kind of Nuggets You'll Find in a Comment Trail

Electronic Petitioning Baby, Electronic Petitioning.

Most of the time the comment trials over at Jim Galloway's Political Insider blog are interesting but today's entry under the sad tale of Mary Norwoods failure to qualify is almost riveting. From "Sign Online":

Sign Online
July 7th, 2010
3:15 pm

GA should follow Utah’s lead. Our state needs to move beyond its past. Online petition signatures should count. We all use the internet to do everything else, why not sign online? From the WSJ, June 22, 2010

SALT LAKE CITY—The Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday that state election officials must accept online petition signatures to qualify individuals for the ballot.

“A signature under [Utah law ] does not require a signor to physically handle a piece of paper and sign her name with a pen,” justices said in a 15-page ruling issued as voters went to the polls for primary elections. “An electronic signature is sufficient to satisfy the election code.”

In March, Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell rejected a nominating petition from Farley Anderson, an independent gubernatorial candidate, saying state law didn’t allow for e-signatures. Mr. Anderson had included more than 150 e-signatures on his petition.

In its unanimous ruling, the court said Mr. Bell’s decision “exceeded the bounds of discretion” afforded his office and he would need specific rules in place to exempt the election process from laws that allow electronic signatures in other settings.

The ruling orders the signatures submitted by Mr. Anderson to be recounted to determine whether he qualifies for the November ballot.

“The court’s opinion, which is the first of its kind nationwide, has the potential to increase significantly the ability of independent candidates to access the general election ballots,” said Darcy Goddard, legal director for the Utah chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the case on Mr. Anderson’s behalf.

Ballot Access and electronic petitioning have been the top two issues of the day for us over here at Bludgeon & Skewer for the last two years. Nice to see that some progress is being made on it in Utah. How about here in Georgia?

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