Gov. Hebert Allows Electronic Signature Gathering For Olympia Hills Referendum
SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Gary Herbert’s office issued an executive order that would allow individuals to electronically gather signatures on a referendum to put the controversial Olympia Hills development up for a public vote.
The order was issued Thursday afternoon.
“This order creates a path forward for the signature gathering process for referenda, while preserving the requirement for handwritten signatures,” said the release.
The Governor’s office said they recognize social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic would impact the group’s ability to get signatures in person.
“Citizen initiatives are an important part of our democratic process here in Utah,” the release continued. “At this time, however, door-to-door signature gathering poses an unnecessary health risk, both to signature gatherers, and to the households they visit.”
Lorin Palmer helped organize Utah for Responsible Growth, the group opposed to the development that would include more than 6,000 homes and condos being built near Herriman and Riverton. He said their group only has 42 days to gather more than 82,000 signatures and get the referendum on the ballot.
“We will have to scramble to make it happen,” said Palmer.
He said his organization will be emailing signature requests to registered voters in Salt Lake County. The voters can sign the form and submit it by email or fax.
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