Governor issues executive order allowing remote signature gathering for local referenda

Politics

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert delivers his 11th and final State of the State address in the Utah House Chambers, at the Utah Sate Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune, via AP, Pool)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Thursday that will make it possible for Utahns gathering signatures for citizen referenda to continue gathering handwritten signatures through email or fax.

The Governor’s Office said this will allow signature gathering to continue in compliance with the social distancing standards contained in the governor’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive, which aims to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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“Citizen initiatives are an important part of our democratic process here in Utah. At this time, however, door-to-door signature gathering poses an unnecessary health risk, both to signature gatherers, and to the households they visit. This order creates a path forward for the signature gathering process for referenda while preserving the requirement for handwritten signatures,” said Herbert in a statement.

This executive order creates options for Utahns for Responsible Growth, a group behind Olympia Hills Referendum. The group is working to stop a proposed development in southwest section of Salt Lake County.

Last week Gov. Herbert made similar adjustments to signature-gathering requirements for candidates seeking for get on the ballot.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...