Yesterday, the Utah Supreme Court, interpreting Utah's version of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) held that electronic "signatures" gathered through the website of an independent candidate for Utah state governor are valid to put the candidate's name on Utah's November ballot. The court's decision is a huge step forward in recognizing the legal efficacy of electronic signatures that may reverberate around the nation.
In the end eSignatures provided a tantalizing glimpse of a potential esigning future, but one that remains firmly in the distance at this time. Certainly eSignatures is in fact useful at the moment - for a limited range of actions and signings. But unless its more notable shortcomings are timely and completely addressed this will remain a beta that doesn't reach the other shore.
At first glance, the seemingly Grand Canyon-wide gap between a verified signature and eSignature's practice is troubling. However, upon reflection, the lack of individual party verification is less worrying than it appears - at least in corporate scenarios.