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Utah lawmakers pull the plug on electronic signatures for measures, candidates

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March 11, 2011


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: Those hoping to be placed on a ballot as a political office candidate or groups supporting a particular ballot initiative in the state, must now only collect petition signatures the "old-fashioned way." On March 9, 2011, the Utah House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 165. The measure bans collecting petition signatures online, instead mandating that signatures be obtained directly from registered voters. Previously, on March 8, 2011, the Utah Senate approved the bill with a vote of 26-1, sending it to the House for consideration.[1][2]

The measure was passed by the House with a vote of 52-23, sending the bill to Governor of Utah Gary Herbert, where it will be enacted after he signs the law. According to State Representative Patrice Arent, this will now make it even more difficult to place a citizen initiative on the ballot. On the other hand, says State Representative Bradley Daw, this new law would decrease the likelihood of signature fraud.[2]

SB 165 was first introduced during 2011 state legislative session on February 25, 2011, where it was read for the first time in front of the state senate.[1]

Read more about Utah's history with electronic petition signatures here.

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