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'E-candidate' trying to make Utah ballot in governor's race

SALT LAKE CITY — A new gubernatorial candidate is challenging the system — one e-signature at a time.

Self-proclaimed "e-candidate" Farley Anderson announced Monday he is running for governor.

Anderson is seeking to be the country's first candidate to make it on a ballot with only electronic signatures collected online.

Whether such signatures will be accepted is very much in doubt after Lt. Gov. Greg Bell rejected electronic signatures collected by ethics initiative organizers.

Anderson's campaign manager and electronic signature advocate Steve Maxfield said electronic signatures will "unleash the power of the people."

Allowing people to sign petitions online will allow more people to become politically involved, Maxfield said.

Bell's spokesman Mark Thomas said officials would consider anything brought to them but said Utah law outlines a "paper process."

"We can't make a decision until we know what form a petition is in, but we have to make sure the system is valid," he said.

Anderson and his supporters will be racing the clock to gather the required 1,000 signatures in the next week.

Beyond e-signatures, Anderson and Maxfield hope to make a statement about campaign financing by not accepting any "special interest" contributions or providing self-financing.

"In the end, we have to pull the money out of politics," Maxfield said.