Wait... there is an election coming up this fall? That's right. I damn near forgot. You know, with the whole coronavirus pandemic hogging all the news for the past two months. I'm being sarcastic, but the fact remains that Montana voters have issues coming up this fall and one of them is legalizing recreational marijuana in Montana.

Two different recreational marijuana groups are proposing ballot initiatives for this year's election. Odds are strong that you've been approached by signature gatherers in parking lots before. The issues on these petitions can run the gamut. I remember signing one a couple of years ago that was about funding for kids of some sort. The tricky thing about ballot initiatives is that you have to have voters sign the petitions. And that's the problem.

With our current social distancing guidelines, it's not really cool to be approaching a bunch of strangers for a signature. Sharing a pen, standing closer than six feet, breathing germs all over everyone. So what's a petitioner to do? As reported by KTVQ, one of the recreational marijuana legalization groups is suing the state for the right to collect signatures electronically.

OPINION: Whether you are pro or anti recreational marijuana, I think this is a great idea. I feel any ballot initiative group should have the opportunity to collect signatures digitally. I personally use e-signature services like DocuSign frequently and can attest it is an easy, secure way to get stuff signed. I'm certainly not a lawyer, but common sense says electronic signatures should absolutely be an acceptable form of petition gathering. Even after COVID-19 is not a threat anymore.