The Utah lieutenant governor (the state's chief election official) has issued an interim rule allowing initiative and referendum proponents to gather electronic signatures on their petitions. The rule comes in the wake of a court case declaring that e-signatures on candidate petitions were valid. While that case didn't directly address initiative petitions, the state has decided to try allowing e-signatures for initiatives too.
While e-signatures are now technically legal on initiative petitions in Utah, there are some significant restrictions on the process. The rule requires that circulators still must meet all requirements for age and state residency, and require initiative sponsors to verify that. It also requires that circulators personally witness e-signatures. A 2004 opinion from the state's supreme court requires circulators to physically witness each signature on their petition. The e-signature rule will stay in effect for 120 days.
Utah is the first state to permit electronic signatures on initiative and referendum petitions.
Read the interim rule.