SALT LAKE CITY (CN) – Utah’s election officials must accept online petition signatures to qualify individuals for the ballot, the state’s Supreme Court ruled. The ruling orders the signatures submitted by independent gubernatorial candidate Farley Anderson to be recounted to determine whether he qualifies for the November ballot.
Anderson filed a federal complaint after Lt. Gov. Greg Bell rejected his nominating petition on the grounds that state law did not allow for e-signatures. Anderson’s petition had included more than 150 e-signatures.
A signature under the state’s law does not require a signor to physically handle a piece of paper and sign their name with a pen, the court ruled.
“We therefore hold that the Lt. Governor exceeded the bounds of discretion granted to him as the state’s chief election officer when he excised the electronic signatures attached to Mr. Anderson’s certificate of nomination,” the court said. “We, therefore, grant Mr. Anderson his writ of extraordinary relief and instruct the Lt. Governor to recount the signatures submitted by Mr. Anderson.”
If Anderson gets 1,000 signatures, his and running mate Steven Maxfield’s names will be included on the ballot in November.