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Should electronic signatures be enough to qualify initiatives?


A group led by former state representative Jesse Wineberry wants to qualify initiatives using electronic signatures. But Secretary of State Kim Wyman wants to take a more prudent approach and is receiving heavy criticism from the group for doing so. She joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss.

What did the group want and what was her response?

“They’ve asked questions about whether they can submit electronic signatures as part of the COVID-19 lockdown, and our answer was, traditionally, we need to see a wet signature,” she said.

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“That’s kind of our back of the envelope explanation for a pen and ink signature that is on a piece of paper like we have seen over the last 100 years or so related to initiatives.”

Wyman says that we need to work through the implications of electronic signatures before just accepting it as the rule.

“There was a bill that was dropped in the same session that was trying to get this idea of electronic signature gathering for initiatives and the bill didn’t get out of committee. So I think the legislature’s gonna want to weigh in on this topic. I don’t believe that they want to give the secretary of state unilateral authority to just make this decision.”

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“I would feel much more comfortable having a robust policy discussion about the merits of initiatives that are gathered electronically because it has implications. If it’s easier to do that, is that threshold for signatures that’s in our state constitution still valid? Do we possibly open the doors to having 20 or 30 initiatives on the ballot? … These are the kinds of discussions that need to happen.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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