Dilbert made me smile - image over telegraph. OK... let's use morse code version :) Next let's assume image size is 100x100 pixels and let's set lines as dots, and dots as a free space. Finally let's set first 20 characters in message as header and let's fill header with image information. Transfer would be easy as pie. But... who wants to prepare image data and who wants to decode it? Me no... thank you :)
Depending on the document. The original signature is necessary in case of a dispute. A scan of a signature might simply be said to be superimposed forgery. While a paper signed document is easier to validate.
If is for day to day in the same company I agree is ridiculous.
If its for a 100million contract, you better be sure you get it on real paper. Unless of course you got a cryptographic alternative that is valid in court. Key point, valid in court.
And if its voting. You certainly do not want the computer to handle it. No paper trail means is far easier to rob an election. At least with the paper, they need to mobilize a lot of people (to move the papers). For stealing the election in the computer you just need one person.
Accepting scanned signatures is about as careless as you can get, from my perspective.
I frequently mail signed declarations and certifications about the work I do, meaning that I can be subpoenaed and/or sued over the quality of my work; the courts definitely do not accept scanned signatures.
No wiggle room there.
It is a source of continuing amazement to me that scanned signatures (that are pretty easy to forge) are mostly acceptable to banks, while electronic signatures that can be very secure are rarely accepted.