Court Says No To Electronic Signatures On Initiative Petitions

A monthly feature, exclusive to NCRA News, from NCRA general counsel and board member John Moore, concerning recent legal decisions relating in some manner to Zero Waste.


By John D. Moore, NCRA Vice President and Legal Counsel, Henn, Etzel & Moore, Inc.
Can Social Networking And The Initiative Process Be Conjoined To Promote Zero Waste?
Zero Waste requires legal support. The wasting industry is heavily entrenched in the state legislature. Los Angeles has different concerns than Northern California and is likewise entrenched. Why else are organic materials not banned from landfills and why must trash collection occur every week? Yet California is fertile ground for changing the law while bypassing the legislature. It is one of 28 states where voters possess the power of initiative. Meanwhile, California gave birth to the largest social networking enterprises. The power of social networking is popularly thought to be “vast”. It is credited with uprooting dictatorships in the Middle East.

Anyone who has tried to use the initiative process at either state or local levels knows that gathering pen and paper signatures to qualify it for the ballot is a time-consuming chore overlaid by many technical legal requirements for the content of the signature petition and who may collect the signatures. To qualify an initiative for the state ballot, more than half a million – 504,760, signatures are required according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Then, of course, you must win the election. Can electronic signatures make signature gathering and qualifying an initiative easier? According to the leading state court decision on this subject the answer is “No”. Read more…