University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "Garbett v. Herbert"
Date November 19, 2020
Author Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project
Author Institution Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
External Link https://healthyelections-case-tracker.stanford.edu/detail?id=134
Abstract After a request to modify the signature gathering requirements to permit electronic signatures, a candidate seeking the Republican party nomination for gubernatorial election brought action for declaratory and injunctive relief against Utah's Governor and Lieutenant Governor, asserting that state's voter signature requirement (28,000 written (original or electronic copies) signatures) for access to primary ballot, in conjunction with emergency measures enacted by state in response to COVID-19 pandemic, violated candidate's First Amendment associational rights and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection right. Candidate moved for preliminary injunction. Candidate focused on the 1st Amendment argument and prevailed, though the injunctive relief granted was more narrowly tailored than requested. Candidate sought either to be added to the ballot or to be provided more time to collect signatures once the stay-at-home orders are lifted. Instead, the court granted injunctive relief requiring the candidate to be added to the ballot if 19,040 valid signatures (the pro rata portion of the threshold required based on days available to obtain signatures prior to stay-at-home order effectiveness) were submitted. Ultimately, that number of signatures was not obtained, the candidate appealed to the Tenth Circuit, but then voluntarily dismissed that suit. Prior to bringing suit, the candidate also sought relief from the State from the requirement that the signatures be written (wet or copies). The State determined that it didn't have the power to permit electronic signatures or to reduce the threshold number of signatures, but, in it's opinion, the court did not agree, asserting instead that when the State has greater powers, it also has lesser, complimentary powers.
Source Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project


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