Disagreement is simply an inescapable part of living with one another. But we should all agree on one thing: The people are sovereign.
The practical question is, how is that sovereignty best instituted? Our experience with those organization and rules we’ve come to rely upon is that, too often, they work against our interests, even working mightily to limit our sovereignty.
Earlier this week, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that electronic signatures should be counted in a case involving an independent candidate for governor who was required by law to gather 1,000 official voter affirmations on a petition.
Of immediate concern is whether the same standard on e-signatures should apply to initiative petitions, which in Utah are required to number over 100,000. Utahns for Ethical Government is asking the AG to count electronic signatures on their measure.
There are certainly issues as to how best to authenticate e-signatures. But can there be any doubt as to the desirability of making it easier for voters to sign petitions and place issues they deem important before their fellow sovereign citizens?
There’s entrenched political opposition to that, though. Utah Governor Gary Herbert says “electronic signatures are part of the future” — but he hopes that’s the far distant future. He wants the legislature to weigh in. Which it may do, working around the judgment of the State Supreme Court.
Will popular sovereignty make it to the Internet, today’s dominant interactivity realm?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.