Remembering National E-SIGN Day

By Ken Moyle

As I wedged into my window seat aboard the Seattle-bound 737, I instantly recognized my seatmate-to-be as Governor of Washington state, Christine Gregoire.  It was Wednesday, June 30, 2010, and we were both heading home from D.C. after two days of intense lobbying on Capitol Hill.

 My day wasn’t over just yet.  As the plane continued to board, I fired up my laptop and pulled up the live video feed from the House floor, just in time to catch Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wa) leading the floor debate in support of declaring today National ESIGN Day.  McDermott was lavishing praise on DocuSign[i] for spearheading the effort.

 “Well,” the governor said over my shoulder as we watched the measure pass 397-15, “it looks like you had a better week than I did.”

National ESIGN Day 2010
With the backing of the Electronic Signatures and Records Association -- a committed group of industry and public policy advocates -- both the U.S. House and Senate passed concurrent resolutions declaring support for National ESIGN Day, because 10 years after the enactment of the Electronic Signatures and Global & National Commerce Act (ESIGN) in 2000, some folks still didn’t quite “get it.”  

Banks, insurance companies, health care providers and many other established industries were still forcing paper and ink on their customers, 

Many lawyers and legislators were still unaware that electronic signatures were as valid and enforceable as handwritten ones, 

Most government agencies had not updated their practices to acknowledge and accept electronic records.  

In the midst of a grueling economic recession, National ESIGN Day was a reminder from Congress that, yes, you can do almost anything electronically, and yes, we really mean it.
 Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, DocuSign was hosting the ESIGN Summit with its special guest, President Bill Clinton.  Speaking on the subject of electronic commerce, Pres. Clinton did his part to remind the San Francisco-based audience why he signed the ESIGN Act into law[ii] in 2000. 

 ESIGN Day 2015
Now Washington’s governor is Jay Inslee, who as a member of Congress in 2000 was the primary sponsor of the ESIGN Act. 

 And in the five years since our campaign to call attention to the rich opportunities available under ESIGN for business, consumers and government, we’re delighted to see progress on many fronts, including:

More online services offered by major banks, insurers, wealth management firms, and just about every other kind of business,

Adoption by legal and professional communities as a stronger, more secure way of transacting with clients and the government,

Federal and state government entities accepting – and sometimes preferring—electronic versions of filings and records.

Since 2010, the inevitability of “digital transformation” has become increasingly obvious here in the U.S.  The next challenges will be to develop standards for online trust and to overcome obstacles to international transactions.

 "We`ve learned throughout all of human history that trust is the basis for all commerce,” Clinton said in his remarks at the ESIGN Summit.  “We have to work harder to get countries not to block it.”

 We’re looking forward to ESIGN Day 2020, when we can post on our progress toward globally trusted online transactions.  It’s going to be a fun ride. Book your ticket for ESIGN Day 2020 today.

To learn more digital transformation for your organization, contact K6 Partners. K6 tailors services to your needs, providing expert advice. 

[i] From congressional record: “I would especially like to acknowledge Seattle-based electronic signature platform provider DocuSign for being a leader in the electronic signatures and records industry and for helping spearhead the coalition to recognize June 30 as National ESIGN Day.  DocuSign recognizes that the benefits of e-commerce extend beyond the dollar values that are placed on business activity. With over 30,000 current customers and having served over 4.5 million people to date, DocuSign provides its customers with confidence in the integrity and credibility of emerging electronic capabilities. They have been a leader in removing obstacles and barriers to business transactions online and in allowing their customers to work faster, more reliably, and more securely.”

[ii] When President Clinton signed the bill into law in June 2000, he said, ‘‘just imagine if this had existed years ago. The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have had to come all the way to Philadelphia on July 4 for the Declaration of Independence. They could have emailed their John Hancocks in.’’

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