Utah ACLU Legal Director Honored For E-Signature Court Victory

Tue, Aug 10 2010

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Utah ACLU Legal Director Darcy Goddard with the August 2010 John Lilburne Award. Darcy is honored this month for her work on a groundbreaking e-signature case in which the Utah Supreme Court ruled in June that the state must accept electronic signatures on an independent candidate’s petition.

“This is a groundbreaking decision that will benefit not only the citizens of Utah but the entire country,” said Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. “It shows that electronic signatures are more than just workable off in the future, but they are being counted officially right here and now.”

The case Anderson v. Bell dealt with independent gubernatorial candidate Farley Anderson, whose nomination petition to get onto the ballot for governor was rejected by Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell. Bell argued that under Utah statutes e-signatures on a petition should not be counted as valid. Anderson took the case to court and in late June the Utah Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Lt. Governor overstepped his bounds and the e-signatures should be counted.

The ACLU’s Darcy Goddard argued the case before the court on behalf of Farley Anderson.

“The Utah ACLU and Darcy Goddard went to bat for Farley Anderson and citizen petition rights because this case was an important opportunity to set a precedent other state courts and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court can follow,” added Jacob. “She took advantage of the opportunity and won, and for that we’re thrilled to recognize her with this month’s award.”

Each month, Citizens in Charge Foundation presents the John Lilburne Award to a citizen, or citizens, working to protect and defend the First Amendment petition rights of Americans.  John Lilburne was a 17th Century English pamphleteer, political activist, and champion of individual rights who advocated constitutional government and pioneered the use of petitioning and referenda for redress against government power and abuse. For a complete list of past Lilburne Award winners please click here.

Citizens in Charge Foundation is the only national transpartisan voter rights group dedicated to protecting and expanding the ballot initiative and referendum process. We believe good government starts with the voter. For more information visit us www.CitizensInChargeFoundation.org.