SALT LAKE CITY (CN) – A federal judge ordered Utah county clerks to keep confidential the names signed electronically on petitions for a “Government Ethics Reform” initiative. Utahns for Ethical Government sued all the county clerks in Utah, claiming it needs the electronic signatures to qualify its initiative for the ballot, but many signers do not want their names made public.
Utahns for Ethical Government needs 95,000 signatures to qualify its initiative for the November ballot. It claims to have gathered 77,000 signatures in ink and at least 18,000 “e-signatures.”
The initiative would clarify and set boundaries for issues such as conflicts of interest and gifts from lobbyists.
Lt. Gov. Greg Bell last week asked that the e-signatures be disqualified.
Utahns for Ethical Government sued the clerks on April 14. On April 16, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups gave the parties until April 26 to file memoranda in the case. A hearing on the request for a preliminary injunction is set for April 28.
The plaintiffs are represented by David Irvine and Alan Smith.