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California State Court of Appeals Construes Election Code to Bar Electronic Signatures on Petitions

Published on July 1, 2011, by in General.

On June 30, a California State Court of Appeals construed California’s election code to bar electronic signatures on initiative petitions. Here is the 24-page decision. The case, Ni v Slocum, had been argued on May 10, 2011. The decision depends on the court’s belief that the verb “affix” can’t mean anything but a pen-on-paper signature. Thanks to Mark Scarberry for the link.

3 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    Gee – laws have SOME connection with time (and technology)– i.e. the state of affairs — when they are written ???

    Shocking — like a lightning bolt.

  2. I don’t think this statement

    The decision depends on the court’s belief that the verb “affix” can’t mean anything but a pen-on-paper signature.

    correctly understands the decision. Instead, it sees the larger obstacle as the effective elimination of the role of petition circulators, which the court thinks is an important element of the statute in spite of the fact that individual voters can be their own circulators. In my (very quick) reading of it, the decision is agnostic on whether an electronic signature is “affixed” to anything within the meaning of the statute.

  3. Tough Love

    Perhaps the judges realized that given the speed with which an initiative could be in place via electronic signature, that a well-informed electorate might intelligently and swiftly begin with an initiative that halved the judges excessive pensions.

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