Common sense says collecting the 1,400-plus signatures needed to bring a city government makeover to a vote would take more than 16 days. And it’s logical to think an effort to put three initiatives on the ballot in that same time frame would be three times as difficult. A group of Kaysville residents believe they have accomplished that feat, gathering enough written support from neighbors to land three issues on the ballot in November that would change how residents are represented in city hall and lower their power bills.

Read the story from Deseret News

Signature sheets are in the hands of petitioners, who are now working to collect the almost 1,500 signatures required to get three measures on the Kaysville ballot in November. The final hurdle, a fiscal impact estimate on the initiatives that would alter Kaysville’s governance, was completed by Dean Storey, finance director, on Tuesday and signature sheets were prepared by Linda Ross, city recorder, by Wednesday.

Read the story from the Davis County Clipper

As we mentioned last week on our website and on this blog, Utah’s Governor recently signed a bill that outlaws using electronically collected signatures in a petition campaign.

Utah State University students were also upset at the governor for signing the bill into law, but for slightly different reasons than we here at Citizens in Charge were:

Utah has suddenly exploded with initiative & referendum related news. You may recall last year we held a joint press conference with Utahns for Ethical Government as they attempted to defend their right to put a measure on the ballot. They are still trying to get their ethics commission measure on the ballot and it seems that the Utah Legislature and Governor are doing everything they can to stop it. To the courts we go:

A group trying to get an ethics initiative onto the 2012 ballot claims Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell is violating state law with rules for petition signatures. Utahns for Ethical Government will announce the details of the lawsuit Monday. The group says Bell, who oversees the state elections office, is not giving them 12 months to gather signatures, which is the allotted time in state law.

Read the story from The Republic

As the deadline nears for two of three Lehi initiative petitions to gather signatures to get on the ballot in November, some voters are bandying harsh words with one another and illegal signs have been reported. “We have the initiatives, and it appears to be getting ugly,” said Councilwoman Kaye Collins at the late close of the March 8 Lehi council meeting. “There are some employees that are not acting in professional ways,” she said. “I have had people who have told me they have threatened them.” Lehi city administrator Jamie Davidson said he was not familiar with any threats, but he agreed that such behavior was not acceptable.

Electronic signatures will be prohibited through a bill passed by Utah lawmakers Wednesday night. The Salt Lake Tribune says Senate Bill 165 will require a registered voter to sign a petition in person instead of online. The bill passed the House 52-23 Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert.

Read the story from The Republic

In action on two bills about elections on Tuesday, the Senate passed one to make it tougher for voter initiatives to appear on ballots ”” and killed another that would have allowed candidates to receive nominations from more than one party. The Senate voted 26-1 to pass SB165 by Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, and sent it to the House. It would prohibit using electronic signatures on websites to help qualify a candidate, party or referendum for the ballot. It also would base the number of signatures needed to get an initiative on the ballot on the number of votes cast for president in the last election, instead of those cast for governor ”” essentially requiring more signatures.

Last week Citizens in Charge Foundation - a partner organization to Citizens in Charge - sent a letter to Secretaries of State and Attorneys General in 12 states asking them to stop enforcing unconstitutional restrictions on ballot initiative rights. In light of recent legal action in which Kansas officials agreed with petition advocates that the state’s law against petition circulators from other states was unconstitutional, Foundation President Paul Jacob asked officials to “do the right thing” and stop enforcing similar

Utah: Museum bond on ballot

Wed, Sep 22 2010 — Source: Deseret News

A public hearing Tuesday on a $15 million bond initiative to help pay for a new and improved Utah Museum of Natural History drew no public comment at the Salt Lake County Council chambers. The council voted in August to put the bond before voters, and the public hearing and approval of the wording of the referendum on Sept. 21 were the last steps the council needed to take to get the resolution on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Kim R. Burningham, chair of Utahns for Ethical Government, explains the latest controversy surrounding signatures on the group’s petition in the Salt Lake Tribune:


The Tribune’s Aug. 19 editorial (“Ethics initiative: Lawmakers should follow lead”) says that while our initiative contains needed substance, it can’t go on this year’s ballot and Utahns for Ethical Government should trash more than 115,000 signatures we’ve submitted, starting over to guarantee “freshness.”

A citizens group promoting a strict new ethics code for Utah legislators says it has gathered in excess of 110,000 petition signatures ”” well more than the 95,000 required ”” to put the issue on the 2012 election ballot. At a Capitol news conference, leaders of the group Utahns for Ethical Government said they made Thursday’s deadline for putting their proposal before voters in two years.

Read the story from The Salt Lake Tribune

The state of Utah will now start accepting electronic signatures for referendums and initiatives after Utah Lt. Gov Greg Bell’s office issued a statement allowing an interim period. This comes on the heels of the Utah Supreme Court ruling in the Anderson vs. Bell case where the court declared that electronic signatures must be accepted.

The Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday that state election officials must accept online petition signatures to qualify individuals for the ballot. This ruling is the first of its kind nationwide. It promises to make it easier for candidates and causes to use the Internet as part of the political process. “A signature under (Utah law) does not require a signor to physically handle a piece of paper and sign her name with a pen,” justices said in a 15-page ruling issued as voters went to the polls for primary elections. “An electronic signature is sufficient to satisfy the election code.”

E-Signatures Win Big in Utah

Tue, Jun 22 2010 by Staff

There is great news out of Utah this afternoon. The Utah Supreme Court ruled in favor of citizen petition rights:

The Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that state election officials must accept online petition signatures to qualify individuals for the ballot.