Governor issues executive order allowing remote signature gathering for local referenda

Local 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

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. 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...