The intent of the rule is to allow the collection of electronic signatures by petitioners, while maintaining statutory provisions that ensure accountability and integrity in the initiative and referendum process.
Creation of the rule was prompted by a recent decision from the Utah Supreme Court in the case of Anderson v. Bell, wherein the Court determined that electronic signatures must be accepted for the purpose of certifying an unaffiliated candidate for the statewide ballot.
The decision did not specifically speak to the initiative or referendum process. However, Lt. Governor Greg Bell felt it was in the state's best interest to establish a rule that provides guidance to those seeking to use electronic signatures in that context.
The full language of the rule is available online at Electronic Signatures. The interim rule has immediate effect, and public comment will be accepted for 30 days, followed by a review period, which may include a public hearing.